New rules or old concepts? The golden jackal (Canis aureus) and its legal status in Central Europe

Jennifer Hatlauf*, Kathrin Bayer, Arie Trouwborst, Klaus Hacklander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Conflicts have emerged due to range expansions of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) across Europe, characterized by their international conservation status and perceived impacts on livestock and native prey species. Most countries in Central Europe do not yet include the golden jackal in their national list of occurring, native species. Nevertheless, legal obligations arise as soon as golden jackals colonize a particular country. Legal implications of this range expansion were described in past studies from an international perspective. However, they left out specifics on the legal status within any particular country. Therefore, we examine the actual legal status within Central European countries, exemplifying the diverse federal and provincial laws. In particular, we assess the current conservation and hunting laws in Austria's provinces and discuss them in the context of neighbouring countries to analyse implications for relevant authorities. We found substantial contrasts not only among provinces but also between direct neighbouring countries, impeding efforts for transboundary species conservation and leading to complications regarding the management of this species. Improved procedures for collecting records and hunting-bag data appear necessary for future species assessment on a European level and management on a local level. We recommend a more unified legal system but adjusted to actual golden jackal presence on the regional and cross-border level, combined assessment, or similar management strategies to minimize conflicts, reduce persecution, and clarify legal obligations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean journal of wildlife research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Golden jackal
  • Bern Convention
  • Habitats Directive
  • Inconsistent legislation
  • Conservation
  • Hunting law


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