About the Wildlife
The wildlife in Jackal Creek ranges from reptiles to birds and interesting mammals. It is truly amazing that such biodiversity still exists within a mostly urban environment.
The most obvious and vocal mammalian species on Jackal Creek is the black-backed jackal. The jackal were present on the land before development took place and are free to roam inside and out of Jackal Creek. They leave through the main gates into Honeydew. The jackal are not fed and any residents found feeding the jackal are given a fine. The jackal are still considered wild animals and are left to fend for themselves. However, because their territory is diminishing within Jackal Creek and the corridor areas leaving Jackal Creek have all but gone, it is necessary that the jackal are ‘managed’ from a distance. Residents are encouraged to report any issues to security or directly to the Jackal Creek Environmental Working Group for further investigation.
There appear to be four active breeding pairs dispersed along the drainage lines around Jackal Creek. Their dens are mostly kept to the shallow, rocky valley that runs through the centre of Jackal Creek from the clubhouse down to the stream that leaves Jackal Creek. June/July are rather noisy months as it is mating season. The offspring from the previous season are forced to leave Jackal Creek during this time as there is no more space for anymore breeding pairs. Each breeding pair can have up to four puppies, however survival of the fittest means that not all always survive. The ticks are spread by the jackal which means that biliary is a reality. Even the jackal get biliary and will most likely not survive it.
2021 was a busy year as two jackal puppies had severe hookworm that resulted in them becoming paralysed. The one succumbed to the infection, the other one went through physiotherapy and treatment and was able to be released in the wild by Johannesburg Wildlife Vet. This resulted in the Jackal Creek Wildlife Group having to deworm as many of the jackal as possible through a feeding program. There was also a rabies scare in the Muldersdrift area – very close to Jackal Creek. It was recommended that the jackal be vaccinated. We had to get in a vet that was willing to dart the jackal to vaccinate them. This was easier said than done, but we did manage to vaccinate a range of the jackal in one night.
Jackal Creek is home to four different owl species – Barn Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl, Marsh Owl and the White-faced Owl. The Barn Owls are prolific breeders in Jackal Creek as there are many open spaces within the different apartment blocks for them to successfully breed. Regularly owls are found poisoned on the property therefore it is encouraged that Jackal Creek is a ‘poison free’ environment. Other birds of prey on Jackal Creek include the Black Winged Kite, Little Sparrowhawk and breeding Black Sparrowhawk.
Slender and Yellow mongoose are prevalent on Jackal Creek in the waterways and amongst the rocky outcrops between the houses. Genets have been caught on camera traps and two dead genet have been found. They are not regularly seen. Leguaans live in the drainage line and offer the jackal some great entertainment. Common harmless snakes that are found include the Brown House Snake and Red-lipped Herald.
The gardens are all indigenous and there has been a drive to eradicate the invasive species found on Jackal Creek. Over the passed two years all Poplar trees have been removed from the drainage line. This year has seen the stream run throughout winter as a result.
The Clubhouse is home to three very large, sterilised cats and some other smaller ones that are not seen as regularly. They are the toughest of the tough as they have managed to survive the wrath of the jackal. Not many other cats have survived their stay in Jackal Creek. These cats are gratefully taken care of by a kind-hearted lady who wants to remain anonymous.
Over the years we have been forced to make use of Johannesburg Wildlife Vet, Friends of Free Wildlife, Wild Serve, Muldersdrift Vet and Dr Zoe Glyphis to assist with all kinds of wildlife issues. If you are ever looking for someone to donate money to – please will you consider looking them up. There is a group of interested and dedicated people that take care of the wildlife in Jackal Creek. Should you have any questions or concerns please contact Shelley 081 551 6337.
Jackal Creek is a best kept secret – a safe place to live where you can enjoy close proximity to schools and shops but live within a precious piece of nature.