Over the last 70 years, the jackal has been expanding its range northwards and westwards across Europe. This natural colonisation is thought to be a result of climate change and due to landscape changes suiting the generalist behaviours of the jackal. The dispersal into Romania is thought to come from the south through Bulgaria, where there is the highest population of jackals in Europe, and from the east, from Moldova and Ukraine. The Danube Delta has proven to be a popular area and has had high numbers of jackals for a few decades.
Jackals tend to avoid areas where there are wolves, and so their spread has also been linked to the decline in wolf numbers. Due to the historically high wolf numbers in the Carpathian Basin and the Hartibaciu Valley, jackals have never managed to populate this region in large numbers, but in recent years there have been more and more sightings.
There is a huge amount of propaganda about the jackal, demonising it as an invasive livestock killer and disease carrier. The truth is, that the jackal has an extremely varied and opportunistic diet, studies have found stomachs filled with 100% grapes, 98% corn and huge amounts of plastic from scavenging through waste. Experts have said that hunting will prove counterproductive, only leading to females having bigger litters. Instead there should be a push for improved waste disposal and animal husbandry around villages, so that jackals are not attracted closer to humans and their livestock.