A pure paradise in Croatia is threatened by the looks of a crafty intruder

The golden jackal, native to Europe, is smaller than the wolf, however these animals have a novel means: swimming. They will swim a number of kilometers in the hunt for prey and rapidly adapt to new habitats. Jackals additionally eat virtually something from fruit to animals. It is dangerous information for Croatian shepherds within the Kornati archipelago, a paradise within the Adriatic Sea the place, till not too long ago, there have been no such animals. Watch a report by “Focus Europa”, a Digi24 and Deutsche Welle mission. The present is broadcast on Saturdays at 00:30 and replays from 19:30.

Jakov Šikić was gone all morning, hoping to search out a minimum of a few of his sheep. They’re semi-wild and reside scattered on the island of Piškera. His plan was to shear them right now, however all he discovered was a scared lamb.

Semi-wild sheep, decimated

Jakov lives together with his household within the Kornati archipelago – a pure paradise and nationwide park for over 40 years. For hundreds of years, the individuals right here lived by fishing, elevating sheep and choosing olives. A fragile ecosystem that’s now threatened: jackals – wild wolf-like canine – have appeared on the island.

Zlatko Ružanović, the nationwide park biologist, follows them. Solely coincidence makes it right here right now.

Simply two days in the past, Jakov tells him, there have been a number of sheep with their lambs close to the home.

– What vthey’re outdated? asks Zlatko.

– Two weeks, Jakov Šikić tells him. And this one is per week outdated, he says pointing to a scared child.

– One alonedifficult…, the biologist additionally notes.

– And there was one other one right here. It was nonetheless per week outdated, but it surely disappeared. And these two are gone. I discovered this one this morning, Jakov Šikić tells him.

Fairly than go away the lamb to the jackals, Jakov will increase it himself. He earns nothing from the sheep’s wool, he can solely promote the lambs.

Laborious to catch and detect

Above Jakov’s farm they set a lure. It’s an try to a minimum of do one thing, however to date with out success. The lure is empty.

– Would not work for jackals. We’ll attempt once more elsewhere, however Jakov says it’s smalldifficultthe biologist explains why the lure did not work.

– Look, the doorway is an excessive amount of slim, the farmer demonstrates.

Jackals are shy and crafty and their fur helps them camouflage. Zlatko can solely see them with the assistance of video cameras.

However that may be tiring. It is scorching and the terrain is tough. You want luck and talent to put the cameras in the proper place. As well as, Zlatko has to return each two to 3 weeks to exchange the batteries and consider the photographs.

“Right here we use eight cameras to search out out whatand they’re, during which route they go and the way typically they seem”, says the biologist.

At this place of adwater the probabilities are excessive: each the sheep and the jackals come to drink water.

Why sheep are important to the island

“Nice, right here it’sclear. That is jackal and that is the sheep. The sheep and the jackal, each animals have to drink water” – says Zlatko.

Besides this places the sheep in danger. And they’re essential in order that the vegetation on the island doesn’t develop an excessive amount of, particularly below the olive timber. It could not develop correctly if there was an excessive amount of grass.

We accompany a patrol of the park administration. Hunts are organized frequently and to date just a few jackals have been shot, however the animals are nonetheless spreading throughout the islands. The rangers aren’t certain why that is occurring, however they’ve a hunch.

How the jackals bought to the island

“We’re right here within the southern halfdifficult of the town of Dugi Otok. Behind us is the island of Vela Alba. We expect the jackal swam from Dugi Otok to Vela Alba after which right here to Kornati. In complete, it is about 800 meters and we all know that jackals can simply swim over three kilometers,” explains Sime Jezina, director of the nationwide park.

Certainly, there’s a video taken by the locals. A jackal calmly swims to shore. Till not too long ago, there have been by no means such animals within the Kornati archipelago. Now, nonetheless, their traces are in every single place. There are an increasing number of photos of useless sheep – most of them killed by jackals.

In the past three years we had about 200 sheep on every farm on the island. Now there are barely 60 left”, complains Jakov.

Since then, the farmer has seen a few of his sheep, however as quickly as they odor him, they run away. Breeding semi-wild sheep just isn’t the longer term, says Jakov, so he needs to alter the technique. “In September, we are going to begin once more. I will convey ten sheep, let’s examine if it really works. There aren’t as many as earlier than, however we’ll preserve them within the barn“, reveals the farmer.

Jakov will most likely must get used to residing alround jackals. Plainly these animals don’t have any intention of leaving and have change into the most recent inhabitants of the archipelago.

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