Medway Talk – The Days of the Jackal – only the sea keeps it from coming to a wood, wetland or farmland near you.
April 24 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Presented by Professor Keith Somerville
Historically the European sub-species of the golden jackal (Canis aureus moreoticus) was found only in Bulgaria, Romania, SE Greece and the SE Balkans. Its related sub-species are and always have been common across Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia.
In the last three or four decades jackals have increased in numbers and spread across Europe. They have reached as far north as the Norwegian Arctic Circle, as far west as France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and is increasingly common in Italy, even on the outskirts of Rome. It has even crossed the Pyrenees into Spain.
There are many reasons for this –
1. Climate change means there is less snow in Central, Western and even Northern Europe. Shallower snow in the depth of winter enables the jackal to forage and hunt.
2. EU environmental legislation has reduced illegal killings, poisoning and has regulated legal hunting.
3. The end of the Cold war reduced barriers to movement with border defences dismantled.
4. In some areas wolves have been exterminated and are only slowly recovering, removing a stronger canid competitor.
5. Humans produce more waste than ever. Jackals are skilled foragers for food on rubbish dumps and around slaughterhouses.
Omniverous, clever, cautious but also audacious – they are the more successful cousins of Wile E. Coyote.
Keith works at the Centre for Journalism at the University of Kent. He is a member of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent, a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and a Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.
Medway Talks is an open lecture series run by the academic staff from the Universities at Medway – University of Greenwich, University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University.
The talks are open to everyone in the local community, including students and staff at the Universities at Medway. Talks will be free of charge to attend, but registration is required.
Each talk will be held in the Pilkington Lecture Theatre (PK008) in the Pilkington Building. For parking, you are able to park free of charge in our Drill Hall Library car park.
Talks will run from 6pm until 7pm with refreshments available on arrival.