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Signs in the field

Signs of golden jackals are very similar to those of red foxes and of dogs of a similar size. Consequently, they can easily be confused. The tracks of a golden jackal are, in theory, recognisable as such. The middle toes of front paw and hind paw are fused together in the shape of a horseshoe. However in reality, an absolutely perfect pugmark is required to recognise this trait with enough certainty. The pugmark of a golden jackal is also slightly larger than that of a red fox. A golden jackal’s front paw pugmark measures 5.5–6.5 x 3.8–4.4 cm, a hind paw pugmark 5.0–5.7 x 3.4–3.9 cm. Golden jackals do not use the direct register trot, where the hind paw is placed in the exactly same spot as the front paw, but place them slightly behind each other.

In the field, scats of golden jackals cannot be identified with certainty and, according to eastern European experiences, neither can kills be distinguished from those of dogs or foxes.

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