Black jackals

Dear Editor,
The exciting news regarding sighting and capture of black jackals from Assam is important considering the conservation value of such rare specimens. The analysis of DNA form the blood will help zoologists ascertain of this rare specimen is an endemic sub species or a melanistic variation of the golden jackal or any product of hybridization with domestic dogs or related species. Nowhere in the world black jackals have been reported before; and hence the species hold crucial information with respect to molecular mutation or hybridization or introgression or speciation and carries great importance for zoology, molecular genetics and conservation biology. The forest department should take all the necessary steps to collect blood, saliva, hair and pieces of skin from the animal held under their supervision. Adequate photos, videos and mormphometric measurements should also be recorded for future analysis and comparative studies. None the less the discovery and report of such rare specimens form Assam is greatly appreciated and thrilled wildlife enthusiasts across the globe.
Saikat Kumar Basu