Turkish Journal of Zoology




The body condition of three autochthonous canid species in Serbia (wolf- Canis lupus, jackal-Canis aureus, and fox-Vulpes vulpes) was assessed based on the value of Kidney Fat Index (KFI). A total of 1232 specimens (147 wolves, 711 jackals, and 375 foxes) were collected during a ten years period. Data were analyzed according to multiple factors such as sex, age, seasons, species, and genus. The results indicate that the adult members of the Canis genus have a significantly better body conditional status than the yearlings as well as the representatives of the Vulpes genus (F (2, 900) = 71.465, p = 0.000). Significant differences in KFI across seasons are recorded in jackal (F (3, 542) = 6.912, p < 0.001) and fox (F (3, 371) = 2.675, p < 0.05) populations. Jackals have the highest KFI during winter when females are in significantly better body condition than males. None of these three canid species has shown a significant difference in body condition between sexes, although females had slightly higher KFI. Among adult female jackals, a difference in KFI between nursing ones and other adult and pregnant females is observed (H (2, n = 220) = 8.339, p = 0.016). Food deprivation which occurs naturally during the winter months does not affect the body conditional status of these predators which are well prepared for the upcoming breeding season. Considered as a whole, in spite of the differences observed at the genus level, the body condition status of these autochthonous canids measured through KFI index indicates decent average fitness status in wolves, jackals, and foxes in Serbia.


Body condition, Kidney fat index, grey wolf, golden jackal, red fox

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