This book explores the fascinating and complex lives of the honey badger, the African jackals (black-backed and side-striped), African golden wolves, and Eurasian golden jackals. In recent years, interest in these creatures has grown exponentially, through wildlife documentaries and media clips showing the aggressive, fearless, and tenacious behaviour of the honey badger, with jackals often presented in a supporting role.
Written by renowned journalist and educator Keith Somerville, this accessible volume includes historical narratives, folklore, and contemporary accounts of human–wildlife relationships and conflicts. It traces the evolution of the species; their foraging and diet; the development of their relationships with humans; and their commensal, kleptocratic, and symbiotic relationships with other carnivores, raptors and birds. It also charts the recent expansion in European jackal numbers and ranges, now including as far west as the Netherlands and as far north as Finland.
Blending historical observations by non-scientists, colonial officials, administrators, and early conservationists with contemporary scientific accounts, it presents a new multidisciplinary approach that will interest researchers, scientists, and students in wildlife conservation, human–wildlife relations, zoology, biology, and environmental science.
Chapter 1. Jackals and Golden Wolves
Chapter 2. Origins and evolution of jackals and golden wolves
Chapter 3. From the end of the Pleistocene to the start of the Common Era (CE)
Chapter 4. Jackals and humans in Africa in the pre-colonial era
Chapter 5. The jackals of Eurasia
Chapter 6. Africa from colonisation to 1960
Chapter 7. Black-backed jackals and related species in contemporary Africa
Chapter 8. Honey badgers: Dramatis Personae
Chapter 9. Origins, evolution and history of the honey badger
Chapter 10. Honey Badgers in the contemporary world
Keith Somerville is a Member of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent, UK, where he is a professor at the Centre for Journalism. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, UK, a member of the IUCN CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.