Wild canid foraging behaviour and regional abundance are often affected by the availability of anthropogenic food, supplementing natural diet. The feeding habitats of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) were compared between two populations in central Bulgaria, for which food availability and the extent of anthropogenic-modified habitat differed. Stomach contents were collected from hunting bags during winters from 1997 to 2009 and compared between an agriculturalhilly region (Region 1) and a forested-mountainous region (Region 2). Although mammalian prey predominated in the jackal's diet in the two regions, diets differed significantly between the regions: in Region 1 the main foods were domestic animals (30.2%), while in Region 2 wild ungulates proved to be the dominant food type (47.9%). We propose that although regional differences in jackal foraging habits were apparent between the two regions, foods originating from human activities were important in both regions. In Bulgaria, the golden jackal is regarded as a nuisance pest, requiring population control. Managing the availability of anthropogenic food sources to jackals, e.g., carcasses of wild and domestic animals, may implicitly reduce jackal abundance and/or discourage jackals from foraging around sites occupied by people.
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Vol. 38 • No. 1