We studied the influence of agricultural villages on space-use patterns of golden jackals (Cants aureus Linnaeus) in the Mediterranean region of Israel. Villages in our research area attract jackals due to poor sanitation conditions in and around villages. As resources in these villages are abundant and predictable, we expected that space-use patterns of jackals near those villages, including home-range characteristics and movement paths, would differ from those of jackals inhabiting more natural areas. Using radio-locations from 16 individuals (8 near villages and 8 from more natural areas), we found that mean home-range size of jackals close to villages was 6.6 ± 4.5 km2 , smaller than mean home-range size of jackals in more natural areas (21.2 ± 9.3 km2 , P = 0.001). Similarly, core area size of jackals near villages was 1.2 ± 0.92 km2 , compared to 3.5 ± 1.62 km for individuals inhabiting more natural areas (P = 0.004). The core area/home--range ratio was greater for jackals near villages than for those occupying more natural areas (0.122 ± 0.045 vs. 0.095 ± 0.037, respectively, P = 0.004). Jackals moved little during the day, with day ranges smaller for jackals near villages than away from them (1.65 ± 0.67 vs. 7.5 ± 5.6 km2 , respectively, P = 0.028). However, jackals near villages moved as much at night as did jackals in more natural areas, although movement was in a less directional manner. Changes in distribution and predictability of resources due to anthropogenic activity affect not only the home-range size of jackals, but also how they utilize and move through space.
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Vol. 75 • No. 1