Spotted hyena twin siblings competing for access to maternal milk in the Serengeti National Park (Tanzania). Photo: S. Benhaiem/IZW
Spotted hyena twin siblings competing for access to maternal milk in the Serengeti National Park (Tanzania). Photo: S. Benhaiem/IZW

Maternal social status and sibling rivalry shape milk transfer in spotted hyenas

Females of low social status often have limited access to food resources. As a result, their offspring are nursed infrequently and may experience long fasting periods that can seriously compromise their growth and survival. In particular when they have to share their milk intake with a littermate, milk shortage can be very detrimental. Yet researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) and the former Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Germany found that low-ranking spotted hyenas were able to compensate to some extent for their low nursing frequency...

Congregation of hippos in one of the last suitable pools during the end of the dry season in Ruaha National Park (Tanzania). Photo: Claudia Stommel/IZW
Congregation of hippos in one of the last suitable pools during the end of the dry season in Ruaha National Park (Tanzania). Photo: Claudia Stommel/IZW

Hippos in search of the last suitable water pools

Hippos in the Great Ruaha River in Tanzania face a profound loss of their habitat during the dry season. The river has much less water during this season than in previous decades because it is increasingly extracted for human use. As a consequence, the river dries up. Researchers from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) have now examined how this affects the distribution of hippos. Their results reveal extensive and long distance movements, as hippos search for vital daytime resting sites. The study has been published in the scientific journal “PLOS ONE”. ...

02 – Flat-headed cat: camera-trapped in Tangkulap Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo on 18 March 2009. Credit: Mohamed & Wilting/IZW, SFD, SWD
02 – Flat-headed cat: camera-trapped in Tangkulap Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo on 18 March 2009. Credit: Mohamed & Wilting/IZW, SFD, SWD

Roadmap for better protection of Borneo’s cats and small carnivores

Habitat conversion and fragmentation, logging, illegal hunting, fires: The rainforests and wildlife on Borneo, the third largest island in the world, are highly threatened. Now, an international research team under the leadership of the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, has published a roadmap for more targeted conservation efforts for Bornean cats and small carnivores in a special supplement of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. ...

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Welcome to the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research!

Willkommen am Leibniz-Institut für Zoo- und Wildtierforschung (IZW)! Deutsche Version der IZW-Webseite.

The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) is an interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to developing the scientific basis for novel approaches to wildlife conservation.

In the current era of the Anthropocene, virtually all ecosystems in the world are subjected to man-made impacts. As yet, it is not possible to predict the response of wildlife to the ever-increasing global change. Why are some wildlife species threatened by anthropogenic change, while others persist or even thrive in modified, degenerated or novel habitats?

To answer this and related questions, the IZW conducts basic and applied research across different scientific disciplines. We study the diversity of life histories and evolutionary adaptations and their limits, including diseases, of free-ranging and captive wildlife species, and their interactions with people and their environment in Germany, Europe and worldwide.

The IZW is a member of the Leibniz Association and the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.