Our Partners & Collaborators

Wild and Free Rehabilitation Center


Gorongosa National Park

Phinda Private Game Reserve

From Vermin to Value: The Jackal

Where others see pests, we see value. WeWild Africa, our commitment extends beyond the iconic species to encompass all wildlife, including the often-persecuted jackal. We asked ourselves, how can we creatively rescue and rewild jackals in need? The answer lay in identifying locations that would benefit from their presence. We needed to create a win-win situation for the jackals and the landscape, and we did. Such places are rare, but we found them. Gorongosa was in desperate need of an infusion of side-striped jackals. Another location was Phinda, where the population of black-backed jackals was dwindling.

Working with the Wild and Free Rehabilitation Center near Kruger Park and WildlifeVets.com, WeWild Africa successfully bonded and relocated 12 side-striped jackals from diverse backgrounds to Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. This move not only reestablishes a once-dwindling jackal population in Gorongosa but also aids in controlling small herbivore numbers, contributing to the park’s biodiversity and ecological balance.

In another translocation, we moved black-backed jackals to the renowned Phinda Reserve. This initiative was aimed at aiding their small animal population control and contributing new genetics to maintain the diversity of their carnivore species.

Why are Jackals Persecuted?

The jackal often finds itself in the crosshairs of conflict. Perceived as a menace and vermin by farmers, these canids are routinely targeted and culled to protect livestock. Widespread culling, driven by the belief that jackals are relentless predators of livestock and wild game, particularly lambs and newborn wildlife, has become a common practice across Africa, by both traditional livestock farmers, private game reserve ranchers, and local community subsistence herders. The reality, however, is more complex. The indiscriminate killing of jackals reflects a broader issue of wildlife management and human-wildlife coexistence in Africa, where the value of each species is often overshadowed by immediate economic concerns.

Jackals are also traditionally depicted within local community folklore and mythology as cunning and resourceful creatures, even as shape-shifters. In Khoikhoi legends, for instance, jackals are known for outwitting lions. These cultural portrayals, combined with their use in traditional medicine, contributes to misunderstandings about their nature and ecological role, leading to more and often unnecessary killing when encountered. 

We work tirelessly to implement non-lethal methods of wildlife management, striving to end the persecution of these misunderstood animals. Our aim is to educate the public about the importance of jackals and offer alternative solutions for their management, stepping in to assist when needed with the use of guard dogs or relocations where necessary. 

WeWild Africa is the first of its kind to provide urgent solutions that respect both the needs of local communities and the intrinsic value of every animal.

Why are Jackals Important?

Jackals, belonging to the genus Canis, are medium-sized omnivorous mammals native to Africa and Asia. These canids are important to the ecosystem because they play a dual role as both predators and scavengers. Their diverse diet, ranging from small mammals and birds to fruits and carrion, allows jackals to adapt to different environments and helps maintain ecological balance by controlling rodent populations and cleaning up carcasses, thus preventing the spread of diseases.

Jackals are known for their intelligence and adaptability, and can be solitary, pair-bonded, or form small family groups. The most common species in Africa, the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) and the side-striped jackal (Canis adustus), are monogamous, with pairs forming strong, lifelong bonds. These pairs defend territories and raise their young together, often with the assistance of older offspring. Jackals communicate through a variety of vocalizations, the most notable being their haunting howls, used for territorial defense and social cohesion.


How You Can Help

The work carried out by WeWild Africa is only possible with the support of individual donors like yourself. You can join us and help us to rescue wildlife, rewild animals, and restore landscapes. 


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