Taxon profile


Palestine Golden Jackal
Canis aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Chordata - chordates »  class Mammalia - mammals »  order Carnivora - carnivores »  family Canidae - dogs and allies »  genus Canis »  species Canis aureus - Golden Jackal


The Palestinian Golden Jackal subspecies is morphologically and geographically distinct from the other three Jackal subspecies living in the area around Palestine: The Syrian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus syriacus Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833), The Egyptian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833) and the Arabian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus Noack, 1896).
The Palestinian Jackal is a small race of the Golden or Asiatic Jackal. It is smaller than a wolf, with relatively shorter legs and tail. It is larger than a fox and can be distinguished by its relatively smaller, rufous ears and shorter, black-tipped tail. It is similar to a small dog in appearance. The fur is rather short and coarse. The dorsal colour is usually variable black, yellowish-gray or brown-yellowish tinged with rufous, grayer on the back, which is grizzled with varying amounts of black. A dark band runs along the back from the nose to the tip of the tail. This mane becomes wider on the back, extending into the lateral surfaces. There are two dark bands across the lower throat and upper breast. There is also a reddish phase. The under parts are almost white or yellowish-brown. The winter coat is longer and grayer. The tail is relatively short, usually with a black tip. The size of the Palestinian Jackal is moderate if compared with the larger Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster) and the smaller Arabian Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus).


Head and body 600-900 mm., female smaller than male; ear 70-89 mm.; hind foot 140-162 mm.; tail 200-300 mm; skull length 148-180 mm; weight 5-12 kg.


The Palestine Golden Jackal lives in hills, plains, around orange groves, in forests and on the outskirts of towns and villages.


Canis aureus palaestina is common throughout the northern half of Palestine and Israel to just south of Gaza Strip and Beer Al-Saba’ (Beersheba).

Links and literature

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2008). Canis aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008: A New Golden Jackal Subspecies from the Gaza Strip, Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 80, August 2008, Rajab / Sha’ban 1429 AH. pp. 1-13. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Abstract in English).

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