Prey use by black-backed jackals along a desert coast
Differences in prey taken by black-backed jackals Canis mesomelas at three widely separated sites on the Namib Desert coast in Namibia, and at one site in South Africa, were investigated through faecal analysis. Nine prey categories were used. Birds showed the highest frequency of occurrence, and highest relative frequency of occurrence in all samples from Namibia except for the Skeleton Coast summer sample, wherein seal remains were most common. In the sample from the South African Namib, insects had the highest frequency, and relative frequency occurrence, with birds the second most represented category. Birds were also the main prey component in all samples, except for the Skeleton Coast summer sample, wherein seals predominated. Highest diversity of prey, and evenness of representation of prey categories, occurred in the South African and Skeleton Coast summer samples, wherein seals predominated. Most prey items, and in every sample the dominant prey category, were of marine origin.