Epigenetic variation and distinctness of Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) populations in its expanding Southeast European range

Georgi Markov, Miklós Heltai, Ivan Nikolov, Aleksandra Penezić, J. Lanszki, Duško Ćirović

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study describes the cranial epigenetic pattern of the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus L.) populations in the core area of its expanding Southeast European range. We studied variations in 13 craniometric non-metric traits in skulls of 202 adult specimens of Golden Jackal collected from six populations in Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, which expands from the Balkan Peninsula to the south-eastern part of Central Europe. Three of these populations inhabit Bulgaria; two are from Serbia and one from Hungary. On the grounds of the established frequency distribution of the examined epigenetic characters, the Epigenetic variability (Vi) and the Measure of uniqueness (MU) were calculated for each of the studied populations, as well as the Mean measure of divergence (MMD) for each pair of single populations. Our results revealed presence of well-expressed polymorphism in all studied cranial traits. The recorded epigenetic variation and epigenetic uniqueness in the populations were low. The pairwise comparative analyses of the Golden Jackal populations based on MMD have shown different epigenetic distances for members of different pairs, but most of them had no statistical significance. The low epigenetic diversity of the studied European populations of the Golden Jackal was probably caused by the recent expansion of species range into the continent as a result of immigration from the Balkan Peninsula and the long-distance expansion strategy followed by this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-793
Number of pages7
JournalComptes Rendus de L'Academie Bulgare des Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018



  • Balkan peninsula
  • Canis aureus
  • Epigenetic differentiation
  • Epigenetic variability
  • Golden Jackal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this