Scientifically referred to as Canis Mesomelas, the black-backed jackal is a notable Africa safari wild game explored by travelers to Africa including those on Uganda Safaris and tours and lives in the two areas on the continent of Africa with approximately 900km in between. These areas include the southern tip of the continent including Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana and eastern coastline including Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Listed as the species of Least Concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the black-backed jackal features great adaptability and wide spread range despite its persecution as a predator of livestock. Appearing like a fox-like canid, the Black-backed Jackal is marked with slender body, large ears and long legs. It stretches from 6 – 13kg in terms of weight, 38 – 48cm at the shoulder height and 67.3 – 81.2cm in body length as explored on Safaris in Uganda.
The coat is reddish brown while the black saddle marked with silver hair stretch from the shoulders to the base of the tail. The Black-backed jackal features a bushy tail marked with a black tip. Regarding behaviour, the Black-backed jackal is territorial and monogamous. The territory is defended by marking the boundaries with urine and faeces and the intruders are expelled aggressively.
The Black-backed jackal features a gestation period of sixty (60) days and the mating normally occurs from late May to August and then giving birth occur from July through to October. A range of 1 – 9 pups are normally produced and are all blind under surveillance of their mother as the father and the old off spring provide food. The eyes are open after 8 – 10 days and weaning occurs after 8 – 9 weeks while hunting starts after six (6) months. The sexual maturity among the Black-backs is normally attained after eleven (11) months. All this themed interpretation is always heard from the Uganda Safari Tour guides while undertaking game drive activity in Kidepo Valley National Park where the Black-backed jackals are known to thrive.
The Black-backed jackals are Omnivores feeding majorly on invertebrates like grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, millipedes, termites, scorpions and spiders. They can as well feed on mammals including; hares, rodents along with young antelopes. They at times feed on berries and fruits.
Regarding the habitat, the Black-backed jackal prefers to dwell in open areas marked with little dense vegetation but it thrives in diverse habitats ranging from areas of 2000mm of rainfall to arid coastal deserts traversing savannahs, alpine areas and farmlands