Aardwolf: Association with other species

The aardwolf is a highly specialised carnivore and appears to be unable to feed efficiently on anything other than social insects (Anderson et al. 1992). It also appears to be the only African ant- or termite-eater that can tolerate the terpene defence secretions of Trinervitermes soldiers (Richardson and Levitan 1994). Although both the aardwolf and bat-eared fox may feed on Hodotermes during the winter and the aardvark occasionally opens Trivitermes mounds (Richardson and Levitan 1994), the aardwolf appears to experience very little competition for food.

The main predators of aardwolves are black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas), which will kill cubs or unwary adults. Unfortunately, aardwolves are also hit by vehicles, are sometimes used as food by indigenous people, and are occasionally shot by farmers. There are no known adverse effects of aardwolves on humans, although they are sometimes shot by local ranchers who fear that they prey upon livestock (Koehler and Richardson, 1990).

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