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Mammal Research

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 309–317 | Cite as

Seasonal variation in diet of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Serbia

Original Paper

Abstract

Seasonal variation in diet of golden jackal in Serbia was assessed by stomach content analysis. During the period 2004–2013, 339 samples were collected at two localities—Surčin (central Serbia, 15 km west of Belgrade, along river Sava) and Veliko Gradište (northeastern Serbia, 85 km east of Belgrade, along Danube River). Jackals consumed a broad range (15) of different food categories. Seasonal differences in diet are related with the availability of certain food categories. Small mammals are the most important food category when they are most abundant—in summer and autumn regarding both frequency of occurrence and frequency of biomass consumed (32.1 %O and 36.5 %B, and 29.0 %O and 37.0 %B, respectively). Moreover, high percentage of plant material is recorded during summer (23.8 %O, 20.8 %B), consisting mainly of fruit that ripen at this time of the year. Due to presence of domestic ungulate leftovers on illegal dumps year-round, this food category is representing its staple diet. High overlap between summer and autumn as well as between winter and spring is recorded (C = 0.97 and C = 0.94, respectively). These findings confirm golden jackal’s opportunistic nature, foraging behaviour and high dependence on human-provided food resources.

Keywords

Golden jackal Canis aureus Stomach content analysis Scavenging Opportunism Anthropogenic food sources 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Education Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia (Project No. TR 31009). The authors wish to express their gratitude to all collaborators in the field who helped in collecting the material for this study. Also, authors give their thanks to two anonymous reviewers for their useful advices and suggestions that significantly improved the paper.

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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of BiologyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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