The Side-striped jackal is a medium-sized canid native to Africa. Its pelt is colored buff-grey. The back is a darker grey than the underside, and the tail is black with a white tip. Indistinct white stripes are present on the flanks, running from elbow to hip. The boldness of the markings varies between individuals, with those of adults being better defined than those of juveniles.
Side-striped jackals are found in central and southern Africa. They live in various types of habitats preferring woodland, scrub areas, savanna, grassland, cultivated areas, marshes, and even enter urban areas.
Side-striped jackals are territorial and live both singly and in family groups. Each family group consists of up to 7 individuals and is dominated by a breeding pair. Side-striped jackals hunt by night usually alone or in pairs, however, in good feeding areas they may gather in groups of up 12 individuals. They are very vocal animals and communicate with each other using various calls. Side-striped jackals don't hoot like other types of jackals but produce a call that resembles an owl-like hoot. They also make loud screaming vocalizations when threatened, low croaks when wounded and yipping calls when family members come together.
Side-striped jackals are omnivores and scavengers. They feed largely on invertebrates during the wet season and small mammals, such as the springhare, in the dry months. They also eat dwarf antelopes, wild fruits, plants and frequently scavenge from campsites and the kills of larger predators.
Side-striped jackals are monogamous and form pairs that last for life. Their breeding season depends on where they live; in southern Africa, breeding starts in June and ends in November. The gestation period lasts 57 to 70 days, with an average litter of 3 to 6 young. The pups are born helpless and are nursed by their mother for 8 to 10 weeks. They reach reproductive maturity at 6 to 8 months of age and typically begin to leave their home territory when they are 11 months old.
There are no major threats to Side-striped jackals at present. However, these animals are often killed, trapped, or poisoned by people because they are thought to transmit rabies. Side-striped jackals are also sometimes persecuted by farmers to protect their livestock.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Side-striped jackal total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.