Black Backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)

Black Backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas) Silhouette

Quick stats of the Black Backed Jackal

  • Diet: - Carnivore
  • Shoulder Height: - 0.38 m
  • Weight: - Male - 9.5 kg
  • Weight: - Female - 8.9 kg
  • Lifespan - 12 years


Black Backed Jackal © D Beyers

The Black Backed Jackal has typical dog features and is easily identified by the black 'saddle' streaked with white, which contrasts strongly with the fawn-coloured coat covering most of the remaining parts of the body. Their large triangular ears perch on top of a pointed face and the thick bushy tail is tipped with black.

Black Backed Jackal © A LienardBlack-backed jackals are widespread throughout most areas in southern Africa and are most common in grassy plains.

They are particularly active at night, scavenging the remains of dead animals or preying on young animals, mice, birds, eggs, and even insects. Usually solitary or found in pairs, these animals make their homes in burrows or protected rocky crevices. At night, their long drawn-out wails, interrupted by intermittent yelps can often be heard.

After a gestation period of 2 months, a pregnant female will give birth to 4 pups.

Other Names for the Black Backed Jackal

  • Rooijakkals
  • Saddle Backed Jackal


Distribution map of the Black Backed Jackal
Distribution map of the Black Backed Jackal

Taxonomy of the Black Backed Jackal

  • Order - Carnivora
  • Family - Canidae
  • Genus - Canis
  • Species - Canis mesomelas

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