HS Environment | A jackal was trapped in Sodankylä – The species is rare in Finland

Global warming is driving the jackal further north, says the professor of ecology and genetics. A rare golden jackal in Finland was found in Sodankylä.

In Sodankylä a rare golden jackal in Finland got caught in a fox’s leg string in the spring, he says Finnish nature. The animal had to be euthanized.

The genetics research group at the University of Oulu has verified the animal as a golden jackal.

The golden retriever is a medium-sized dog, and it is protected in Finland.

Professor of the Ecology and Genetics Research Unit of the University of Oulu Jouni Aspi says that the jackal in question was probably not the only representative of the species that got lost in Finland.

During the last couple of years, a few vision and game camera sightings have been made in Finland.

“Fairly reliable game camera sightings have been obtained, for example, from here at the height of Oulu,” says Aspi.

Golden cabbage is already reasonably common in Central Europe, but in recent years it has been increasingly observed in northern latitudes as well.

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The golden jackal is not a foreign species in Finland, but a so-called newcomer species, because it comes on its own to new areas from its original range.

Asp’s research team tried to find out with the help of mitochondrial DNA analysis where the animal entered Finland, but so far it has not survived.

“The sample was so similar to the European golden jackal that it is impossible to say exactly where it came from using mitochondrial DNA alone. Other genetic markers and reference samples from a wider range of different populations would be needed. We are in the process of acquiring them from our European colleagues,” says Aspi.

European jackal population is a mixture of individuals who migrated from the Caucasus through Ukraine, Greece and the Balkans.

The northernmost sighting of a jackal is from Ruija in Lapland, Norway. Individual jackals have also been caught in Russia.

The closest jackal population to Finland is found in Estonia.

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Aspi says that young jackal individuals may leave the herd and travel hundreds of kilometers after a partner or a favorable territory. It is an adaptable and omnivorous animal that also eats fruits and grains and is adept at utilizing human-provided food as well.

According to Aspi, jackals usually avoid wolves and areas where wolves live. However, the warming of the climate has caused it to spread more boldly to new areas.

“Climate change is perhaps the clearest explanation for its very rapid spread to the north,” says Aspi.

The discovery of the golden jackal in Sodankylä was reported earlier Finnish nature.

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