Black-Backed Jackal Facts and Information

Canis mesomelas

Introduction to Black-Backed Jacka

As the name implies, the telling sign of the Black-Backed Jackal is that the back of it is all black. The rest of the body can range in color from tan, gold, reddish, and even gray. They are different colors in various regions and that coloring enables them to blend in well to their surroundings.

Black-Backed Jackal Description

The Black-Backed Jackal is very lean with a long, thin body. They often resemble a wild dog. Due to their colors and body style they have been mistaken for wolves and for fox before as they run very quickly and a person may only get a quick glimpse of them. They range in size from 11 to 22 pounds. The size depends on location and also on their diet. The males are usually about 5 to 10 pounds heavier than the females.

Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Canidae
Genus Canis
Conservation status Least Concern

Black-Backed Jackal Distribution

There are two significant locations in Africa where the Black-Backed Jackal lives. In the Southern part they are found in Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana. They are also found in the East around the coastline. This area includes Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. They live in a diverse combination of habitat and that has allowed them to thrive for a very long time.

It is hard to get an accurate count of them in the wild. However, it is believed they aren’t at any risk of being extinct based on what has been identified. They tend to live in dens that other animals have left behind. When necessary they will create their own but usually they find enough that are abandoned that they don’t have to spend the energy to do so.

Black-Backed Jackal Behavior

Many people are afraid of the Black-Backed Jackal because they can transmit diseases such as rabies. These animals are very protective of their environment. They will aggressively fight among themselves for habitat and food.

Black-Backed Jackal Facts

Black-Backed Jackal – Canis mesomelas

Black-Backed Jackal Feeding

When you look at the body of the Black-Backed Jackal you may not expect too much. Yet it will surprise you because it can successfully take down prey that is more than twice its own size. They will consume cattle and antelope. They also consume smaller prey including hares and rodents. Fruits and berries that are seasonal may also contribute to their diet.

The Black-Backed Jackal often gets a terrible reputation with ranchers due to the fact that they will attack various types of livestock. Even with fencing around these animals are very skilled predators. Some ranchers have taken actions such as shooting them, poisoning them, or trapping them to save their animals.

Black-Backed Jackal Reproduction

There are various rituals that occur for a male and female to decide they would like to mate. They are very selective as they will choose a mate that they stay with until one of them dies. They will create a very social bond and work as a team to create shelter and to find food.

They will have offspring annually and there can be up to 7 pups per litter but they usually have about 4 of them. They will mate any time from May through August with a 60 day gestation period. The young pups stay in the den with their mother for the first 3 weeks. Then they can come out and take part in their surroundings. They will be independent when they are about 8 weeks old.

The young often stay with the parents through the following year. The older siblings help to take care of the new litter. They also teach them valuable skills through play and through showing them how to hunt.

Black-Backed Jackal Information

Black-Backed Jackal Facts and Information


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