The golden jackal Canis aureus – a new species in the Baltic countries
Keywords: Canis aureus, mtDNA, helminths, Uncinaria stenocephala, Apophallus donicus, Cestoda
AbstractIn the Baltic countries, the golden jackal (Canis aureus) was first recorded in Estonia on 28 February 2013 and three specimens of golden jackal were hunted in Latvia in 2014. The first golden jackal in Lithuania was hunted on 7 February 2015. The species of the golden jackal was identified using morphological and mitochondrial DNA control region (CR1) analysis. In Lithuania, hunting of these animals is permitted throughout the year. Few studies in the past revealed the potential role of the golden jackal as a carrier of intestinal helminths, parasites, and zoonotic diseases. In this study, the presence of tick-borne pathogens and other parasites in golden jackal specimen were investigated. No pathogens (Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia sp., Bartonella sp.) were found in the spleen of the golden jackal. However, the flukes Apophallus donicus, nematodes Uncinaria stenocephala, and unidentified individuals of class Cestoda were detected. Helminths A. donicus and U. stenocephala are not new species for Lithuania and neighbouring territories.