Talk:Golden jackal

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Featured article Golden jackal is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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November 29, 2016 Good article nominee Listed
December 20, 2017 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

Unexplained content removal[edit]

@Mariomassone: I notice that you removed several paragraphs from this article in this series of revisions. What is the reason for this? Jarble (talk) 20:26, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

A reply to this discussion has been posted on my talk page. Jarble (talk) 21:36, 1 March 2016 (UTC)


Indigenous names (i.e., words for jackal in other languages) is an interesting entry, but it doesn't help explain fully the derivation of the word jackal in English. 17:07, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

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NAMES Under the section Etymology, we have "Other names for the species include Eurasian golden jackal,[4] common jackal, Asiatic jackal[5] or reed wolf.[6]"

  • The term Eurasian golden jackal was only used by Koepfli to distinguish that one from the African golden jackal, which by the end of his study had become the African golden wolf. The abstract commences "Koepfli et al. assess divergence between golden jackals (Canis aureus) from Africa and Eurasia. Clearly, the term Eurasia was geographical and not considered part of its common name. I believe that this name be removed.
  • The term "reed wolf" comes from historical Hungary and is not recent. "This animal could be wolf, stray dog or jackal" says Toth. Toth set out to explore what it might have been, and does not end the paper with any real conclusion. I believe it should be (a) removed as we do not know what it was, or (b) unbolded and relocated under the section Subspecies, the moroticus description box, where we say: Possibly referred to as the "reed wolf" in historical Hungary. Include the Toth citation. This refernce here refers to the reed wolf as moroticus.
  • A search of Google Scholar shows that the two terms common jackal and Asiatic jackal are often used for C. aureus in research articles. The Etymology section is not the right place for them as they do not relate to the derivation of the word "jackal". I believe these should be unbolded and relocated to commence the Taxonomy section, with: The golden jackal is smetimes referred to as the common jackal or the Asiatic jackal. Include the Jala citation. William Harris • (talk) • 10:21, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

RANGE Regarding our various maps, how accurate is this map if we were to not consider Africa (now African golden wolf)? The nations of Myanmar, United Republic of Thailand, and Viet Nam are listed in the IUNC description: Wozencraft in MSW3 listed Myanmar and Thailand. We have Zachos 2008 (DOI 10.1007/s10528-009-9221-y) supporting Thailand. Duckworth 2008 (DOI: 10.1515/mamm.1998.62.4.549) lists 7 sightings - three from south Laos, two from Vietnam and two from Cambodia - only in lowland, open deciduous forests along with numerous past reported sightings, however no specimens have been collected in this region. Comments anyone? William Harris • (talk) • 10:23, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

Subspecies synonyms. These are taken from Wozencraft which mixes synonyms for the species with those for the nominate subspecies. For instance, Wagner (1841) described Canis dalmatinus. Thus C. damatinus is a synonym for C. aureus, not C. aureus aureus. Assuming that this is describing an animal from Dalmatia, this synonym would more properly be applied to ecsedensis or moreoticus. It shouldn't be listed as a synonym of subspecies C. aureus aureus. Similarly, balcanicus and hungaricus should be synonyms of a European subspecies.   Jts1882 | talk  13:10, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

A little research reveals the following:
  • Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951), one of the references for subspecies used by Wozencraft, gives hungaricus as a synonym of ecsedensis. In fact, the latter was proposed to replace the former because it was preoccupied by the Hungarian wolf.
  • Pocock (1938) synonymises dalmatinus and balcanicus with anthus on the grounds that North African jackals were introduced in the Dalmatia. This was mentioned by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951), but they left them listed under C. a. aureus.
  • Allen (1939), the other subspecies reference used by Wozencraft, lists Thos aureus maroccanus as a subspecies with a synonym Thos lupaster maroccanus. This Moroccan Jackal presumably belongs with the African golden wolves.
I have moved hungaricus in the subspecies table. I think maroccanus can be deleted from this article, but am unsure what to do with dalmatinus and balcanicus. As Wozencraft and Ellerman & Morrison-Scott left them under C. aureus aureus I suppose we have no other choice, even if it is inaccurate.   Jts1882 | talk  16:14, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
Good work. I am happy with that relocation of hungaricusas as it is supported by your reference: Ellerman, J. R., and T. C. S. Morrison-Scott. Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian Mammals 1758 to 1946 - Canis aureus ecsedensis Kretzoi, 1947. T/ws alliens ecsedensis Kretzoi, Ann. Mus. Nat. Hung. 40: 287. Tyukod, Szatmar, Hungary. Proposed to replace hungaricus. 1938. Canis aureus hungaricus Ehik, Ann. Mus. Nat. Hung. ^/ (Zool.) : 1 1. Said to be preoccupied by Canis familiaris hungaricus Margo, 1 89 1, the reference to which has not been traced.
Koepfli 2015 tells us that Thos lupaster maroccanus Cabrera, 1921. Mogador, Morocco, should be regarded as C. anthus, so I agree that it should be relocated from this article to the C. anthus article, using Koepfli as an additional reference. (Koepfli lists in his SUP all of the synonyms going across to anthus.)
See Pocock, 1938, P.Z.S. , Ser. B. 108: 37, 39, in which it is suggested that dalmatinus and halcanicus are possibly synonyms of C a. anthus Cuvier, 1820, from Senegal, evidently introduced into Europe. I would be inclined to leave dalmatinus and balcanicus for now as we do not know the basis of this "evidently" (whatever that term is supposed to imply) Dalmatian introduction. Rest assured, if this is the case, the evolutionary biologists will get on top of it soon with their gene sequencers - someone will have an interest. William Harris • (talk) • 09:44, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
Good, we agree. While I think the dalmatinus and balcanicus are misplaced under C.a. aureu the only sources we have have listed them that way, Wozencraft ambiguously and Ellerman & Morrison-Scott explicitly. I can see no grounds for doing it differently until new evidence is available.
What struck me is how dated the subspecies assessments are, with the 1951 study being just a checklist. The assessments belong to a different time, when subspecies were treated very differently and the number of specimens and characteristics used to define subspecies was often very small. This was a point made by Andrew Kitchener with respect to tigers, which were and are an extensively studied animal, and is behind the drastic reductions in cat subspecies in recent taxonomic assessments. The following quote states the change in nature of subspecies succinctly:

"The definition of subspecies has changed from merely being used as a label for a local geographic variant to representing a morphologically and genetically distinct population, which has evolved in isolation, but which may subsequently hybridise with neighbouring populations"

— Andrew Kitchener (1999).
I assume that Kloepfli and colleagues will be trying to sample the golden jackal more widely, as the whole wolf-jackal species complex seems so intertwined.   Jts1882 | talk  12:03, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
I understand the dog/wolf thing will be greatly advanced over the next 12 months. After that, I expect that the evolutionary biologists will turn their attention to the next few steps back on the Canis phylogenetic tree. [Here is one reason why - the Dingo is a genetically divergent, basal dog whose lineage has experienced past admixture with the Qing Hai wolf (Fan 2016) i.e. the Tibetan wolf. The Tibetan wolf appears to be an African golden wolf derivative or hybrid (Werhahn 2017), which is why its DNA is basal compared with the gray wolf and therefore I assume the Dingo DNA is basal compared with the dog. Someone will need to explore if the Dingo is a domesticated African golden wolf derivative(!) introgressed with gray wolf, or at least dismiss that possibility.] William Harris • (talk) • 09:30, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
Rutkowski (2015) cited in the article has already looked at two specimens from the Dalmation coast - as well as other parts of Europe - and found no trace of an African ancestry; their lineage had been living in the region for the past 6,500 years. This matter is now closed. William Harris • (talk) • 11:50, 29 August 2017 (UTC)

TAXONOMY - phylotree The wolf-like canid phylotree has been an issue with me in the past. Koeplfi offered two versions, one in the main body and one in the SUP, the difference being the location of the Ethiopian wolf based on a different set of markers. The version in the SUP matches the Lindblad-Toh undertaking in 2005, which I have supported in the past. I have now decided to go with the phylotree in the main body of Koepfli that locates the Ethiopian wolf inside the phylotree and diverging after the golden jackal. It is based on nuclear markers and the benefit is that we can use the timing provided by Koepfli, therefore the tree has now been amended. (Of interest, in Koepfli's Figure 1 "Phylogenetic Tree Based on Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Sequences" uses a different marker and depicts the Ethiopian wolf and the Coyote as sisters branching from a common maternal ancestor at some time in the past.) William Harris • (talk) • 12:54, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

Lead paragraphs[edit]

The body of the text is now complete and the references all validated. The next steps are (1) a proof read of the body for spelling or formatting errors - my thanks to those edits who are contributing as we progress the article - and (2) the compilation of three lead paragraphs to cover the most important points in the article body. I will compile something shortly for others to read/rebut/comment on. Once this is completed, we are ready to call upon our friends in "The Guild" for proof-reading and clarification. William Harris • (talk) • 10:49, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Software scans[edit]

  • Earwig: Violation unlikely 17.4% - found multiple use of the term "golden jackal (Canis aureus)"
  • Checklinks: OK
  • Disimbag links: None

William Harris • (talk) • 11:23, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

Guild of Copy Editors[edit]

On behalf of the "jackal-pack", I thank Corinne, Coordinator, Guild of Copy Editors for making the time and effort to further yet another Canis article. William Harris • (talk) • 02:20, 1 November 2017 (UTC)


Golden jackal is now the only extant wild Canis article to hold WP:FA status since Gray wolf lost that crown over a decade ago.

On behalf of the Wikipedia "jackal pack", for their contributions during the WP:FAC process I thank:

  • FunkMonk for the huge amount of his personal time donated in critiquing the article, and
  • Corinne for maintaining her grammatical watch and attention to detail over the edits immediately after they were made.

We have completed this task before Christmas, which was the target that I set for myself back in August. Regards, William Harris • (talk) • 22:35, 21 December 2017 (UTC)