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We radiotracked 22 jackals, 11 Canis mesomelas and 11 Canis adustus, in Hwange, Zimbabwe, to test the hypotheses that habitat use would differ and that the larger C. adustus would displace the smaller C. mesomelas. C. mesomelas preferentially used grassland. C. adustus used woodland and scrub. Habitat use by C. adustus differed from allopatric populations in which this species uses grassland, the likely favored habitat for jackals. C. mesomelas was shown to aggressively displace C. adustus from grassland. Aggressive displacement of a larger species by a smaller species is an unusual and probably unique behavior in carnivores.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Mammalogy

Publication Date





599 - 607