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The Leibniz-IZW is an internationally renowned German research institute. It is part of the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. and a member of the Leibniz Association. Our goal is to understand the adaptability of wildlife in the context of global change and to contribute to the enhancement of the survival of viable wildlife populations. For this purpose, we investigate the diversity of life histories, the mechanisms of evolutionary adaptations and their limits, including diseases, as well as the interrelations of wildlife with their environment and people. We use expertise from biology and veterinary medicine in an interdisciplinary approach to conduct fundamental and applied research – from the molecular to the landscape level – in close dialogue with the public and stakeholders. Additionally, we are committed to unique and high-quality services for the scientific community.

+++ Current information on African swine fever: The Leibniz-IZW conducts research on the population dynamics, on models of disease outbreaks in wild boars and on the ecology and human-wildlife interaction in urban areas. African swine fever is a reportable disease in domestic swine and therefor is the purview of the respective federal state laboratories and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (Federal Research Institute for Animal Health) FLI. +++

News

 

A dead bat. Photo: Christian Voigt/IZW
A dead bat. Photo: Christian Voigt/IZW

Bats versus wind turbines

Wind turbines are responsible for the death of numerous bats. In a recent study, scientists determined the origin of these animals: they do not only come from local areas but many had been already on a long migratory journey. Germany therefore bears responsibility not only for the protection of native bat populations, but also for the populations from other countries.

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Left: Deforming copper bullet (TSX). (A–D) Cavities at increasing energies. No clouds of fragments. Right: Deforming lead-containing bullet (NVU). Many metal fragments are visible (fragment clouds).
Left: Deforming copper bullet (TSX). (A–D) Cavities at increasing energies. No clouds of fragments. Right: Deforming lead-containing bullet (NVU). Many metal fragments are visible (fragment clouds).

Lead in hunting bullets is dispensable – study proves suitability of alternatives

A new study concerning terminal ballistics of lead-containing and lead-free bullets shows that both materials are equally suitable for hunting in accordance with animal welfare. Lead-free bullets even leave smaller fragment clouds than leaded ones.

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Synchronised computed tomography (CT) - digital radiography (DR), the principle of method... Photo: Galateanu/IZW
Synchronised computed tomography (CT) - digital radiography (DR), the principle of method... Photo: G. Galateanu/IZW

Synchronised imaging techniques - one more chance for rhinoceroses

A new imaging strategy of synchronising computed tomography with digital radiography helps to diagnose and initiate appropriate treatment of foot diseases in mega-vertebrates.   

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Caribbean monk seal (Neomonachus tropicalis) credit Peter Schouten
Caribbean monk seal (Neomonachus tropicalis) credit Peter Schouten

Leibniz, Smithsonian, and Fordham University Scientists Use Extinct Species to Reclassify the World’s Remaining Two Species of Monk Seal

The recently extinct Caribbean monk seal (Monachus tropicalis) was one of three species of monk seal in the world. Its relationship to the Mediterranean and Hawaiian monk seals, both living but endangered, has never been fully understood. Through DNA analysis and skull comparisons, however, Leibniz scientists and colleagues have now clarified the Caribbean species’ place on the seal family tree and created a completely new genus. This is the first time in more than 140 years that a new genus has been recognized amongst modern pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses). The team’s findings are published in the scientific journal ZooKeys, May 14.

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Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Photo: Daniel Zupanc
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Photo: Daniel Zupanc

How the koala retrovirus genome evolved

Retroviruses invaded the genome of koalas with strongly pathological effects: the viruses weaken the immune defense and threaten the viability of the already reduced koala population. An international team of scientists from Europe and North America now applied the technique of hybridisation capture to analyse the entire genome of koala retroviruses and used museum samples to monitor its variation across 130 years. The findings were just published in the scientific online-journal PLOS ONE.

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Foramen magnum of lion (Panthera leo) skulls; right: skull of a healthy lion, left: malformed skull. Photo: Dr. Merav Shamir
Foramen magnum of lion (Panthera leo) skulls; right: skull of a healthy lion, left: malformed skull. Photo: Dr. Merav Shamir

Skull malformations in lions: keeping up the pressure

An international team of researchers led by scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) Berlin examined the incidence of skull malformations in lions, a problem known to be responsible for causing neurological diseases and increased mortality. Their results suggest that the occurrence is a consequence of a combination of environmental and genetic factors. These findings were published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

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One Horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). Photo: Steven Seet/IZW
Rhinoceros unicornis. Photo: Steven Seet/IZW

Indian rhinoceroses: Reproductive tract tumours reduce female infertility in early stages

Reproduction of the Indian rhinoceros faces greater difficulties than was previously recognised. Researchers from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research Berlin (IZW) together with American colleagues discovered that benign vaginal and cervical tumours cause infertility even in young females. This substantially affects breeding success in zoological gardens.

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IZW Alfred-Kowalke-Str.
IZW. Photo: Steven Seet/IZW

The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) was positively evaluated

The Senate of the Leibniz Association has published the results of the external scientific evaluation of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Berlin, Germany. It commends the institute for its excellent work and recommends that the government should fund the institute for another seven years.

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IZW in the media

Video by Vietnam TV, the national television broadcaster of Vietnam, about the field work of Leibniz-IZW and collaboration partners in Bidoup Nui Ba NP (www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NX2HlG5Ar4).

 

19.04.2021 | ARD tagesschau24
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05.04.2021 | ZDF Terra X
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30.03.2021 | Horizon Magazine
The curious case of northeast Brazil’s cross-breeding sea turtles

25.03.2021 | Deutschlandfunk Kultur
Genomatlas für Artenschutz: Gen-Entschlüsselung könnte Artenvielfalt bewahren

25.03.2021 | The Guardian
Researchers find the secret of the bunny hop: it's all in the genes

25.03.2021 | The Guardian
Researchers find the secret of the bunny hop: it's all in the genes

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Geparden in Namibia: "Ein Szeneclub wie in einer Großstadt"

29.11.2020 | U.S. News
'D-Day' for Pakistan's Lonely Elephant as Handlers Prepare Airlift to Cambodia

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Vogelgrippe-Alarm an der Küste

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