|Jackal, wolf, coyote, or dog?|
The complex taxonomy of jackals has been debated for over 150 years. Jackals are among the most diverse and widespread canids on the planet, and the idea of species should probably take a back seat to the idea of speciation.
A great deal of the taxonomic debate these days is about humans looking to publish papers, get grants, name new species, and secure habitat protection. The simple truth is that dogs, wolves, coyotes, dingoes, and golden jackals can all interbreed and produce fertile young, and very occasionally do so. What prevents this from happening very often is geography and culture related to estrus cycles, vocalization, and marking behavior.
Speciation is going on all the time, and fertile cross-species hybrids are so common as to be unremarkable and are, in fact, a core part of Darwin's treatise on evolution. More than 15 species and/or subspecies of Jackals have been named in the past
If scientists have "discovered' anything in this instance, it is simply that Jackals are every bit as diverse as we have always known, and that a few populations may be a little farther along in the speciation process than what some other scientists have previously acknowledged. A little new information, but is a debate ender? Not by a long shot.
The real experts in these matters are not scientists, or even humans, of course, but the animals themselves. Jackals, dog, wolves, and coyotes seem to recognize major differences between themselves and give a hat tip to those differences 99.999 percent of the time. But the world is big, time is long, and numbers are large. Even a 0.0001 percent wobble is a lot of genetic variation, and that genetic variation is a good thing as all future evolution on earth depends on it.