Black Backed Jackal

© Roger de la Harpe


Black-backed jackal [Canis mesomelas]


The black-backed jackal is widely distributed around South Africa and are known for their bold and cunning behaviour. Mainly nocturnal, the black-backed jackal can also be seen quite often throughout the daytime. Their diets consist of smaller animals such as reptiles, rodents, birds and eggs. They are also scavengers and are not shy to steal a morsel from the fresh kill of a lion. They are hunters in their own right.

Vital Statistics

Weight (Female): 5, 5 - 10 kg
Weight (Male): 6, 8 - 11, 4 kg
Length (Female): 110 cm
Length (Male): 110 cm
Gestation Period: 2 months
No of Young: 1 - 6 pups
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae

Black-backed Jackal Breeding

The breeding season of the black-backed jackal occurs between July to October in South Africa. After a gestation period of 2 months, a litter of around 1-6 pups (rarely 9) are born.

Spoor Description

The black-backed jackal leaves small, neat dog-like tracks that are about 5 cm long. The spoor is easily identifiable in the dry earth found in the bushveld of South Africa.