Author: Leibniz-IZW
Author: Leibniz-IZW

Rhino sperm from the cold – new cryoprotective increases motility of sperm after thawing

A new mixture of cryoprotectives allows for an unprecedented high motility of frozen rhinoceros sperm after thawing, report scientists from the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife research (IZW) in Berlin, Germany. These new cryoprotectives can increase the prospects of utilising assisted reproduction techniques for many endangered wildlife species. The study, based on three rhinoceros species, has been published on 11th July2018 in the journal PLOS ONE....

Ovum pick up southern white rhino Author: Leibniz-IZW
Ovum pick up southern white rhino Author: Leibniz-IZW

A breakthrough to rescue the Northern White Rhino - First ever hybrid embryo produced outside the womb

 

Northern White Rhinos (NWR) are functionally extinct, as only two females of this species are left on the planet. An international team of scientists has now successfully created hybrid embryos from Southern White Rhino (SWR) eggs and NWR sperm using assisted reproduction techniques (ART).  This is the first, ever reported, generation of blastocysts (a pre-implantation embryos) of rhinos in a test tube. Additionally, the international team established stem cell lines from blastocysts of the SWR with typical features of embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough is published in Nature Communications today....

Cheetahs / Author: Leibniz-IZW, Cheetah Project Namibia
Cheetahs / Author: Leibniz-IZW, Cheetah Project Namibia

Territory holders and floaters: two spatial tactics of male cheetahs

Scientists of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz IZW) in Berlin analysed the spatial behaviour of cheetahs. They showed that male cheetahs operate two space use tactics which are associated with different life-history stages. This long-term study on movement data of over 160 free-ranging cheetahs in Namibia has now been published in the scientific journal ECOSPHERE. ...

Lynx / Author: Ralph Frank, WWF

Lynxes in danger

A new study suggests that humans are putting pressure on the population of these big cats in the Germany-Czech Republic-Austria border area. ...

Author: pixabay.com

Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission

In water-limited landscapes sick animals can have increased contact with healthy individuals, which can facilitate disease transmission. Scientists from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) present these findings in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology. ...

Large antlered muntjac, Authors: Leibniz IZW, WWF-Vietnam, USAID Song Thanh Nature Reserve
Large antlered muntjac, Authors: Leibniz IZW, WWF-Vietnam, USAID Song Thanh Nature Reserve

First record of large-antlered muntjac in Quang Nam, Vietnam, in the wild provides new hope for the survival of this species

Quang Nam – 21st May, 2018 - In November 2017 - under a biodiversity monitoring and assessment activity supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) - scientists and conservationists of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and WWF-Vietnam captured photographs of one of the rarest and most threatened mammal species of Southeast Asia, the large-antlered muntjac (Muntiacus vuquangensis), in Quang Nam province, central Vietnam. Prior to this milestone, this species had only been camera trapped in three protected areas in all of Vietnam since the year 2000. The new records from Quang Nam - which include photographs of both a male and a female - provide new hope for the continued survival of a species that is on the brink of extinction....

DNA, Author: pixabay.com
DNA, Author: pixabay.com

The dark side of our genes – healthy ageing in modern times

The transition to modernity – largely driven by the Industrial Revolution – provided us with easier access to food and clean water, with antibiotics, vaccines, and modern medicine. Yet modernity did not just bring fewer infectious diseases and longer life: it also created an environment radically different from the one we evolved in. Genes helpful in our evolutionary past may now predispose us to chronic disease – such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer – in old ages. In a paper published in the journal Nature Review Genetics an international team of five scientists collate the evidence for this mismatch between past evolutionary adaptation and our modern lives. They also ask whether natural selection linked to modernization might reduce globally the burden of some chronic diseases....

Bats emerging from a cave in Thailand, Author: CC Voigt / Leibniz-IZW
Bats emerging from a cave in Thailand, Author: CC Voigt / Leibniz-IZW

Above us only sky – the open air as an underappreciated habitat

Numerous bat species hunt and migrate at great altitudes. Yet the open sky had, until recently, not been on the radar of conservation scientists as a habitat relevant to a large variety of species. Christian Voigt and colleagues from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin have collated the current scientific knowledge on potential hazards to one group of animals flying at high altitudes, bats. In their recent article published in BioScience the authors synthesise threats facing bats in troposphere and provide recommendations for potential protective measures to ensure persistence of bats and other high-flying animals....

 

Przewalski horses, Autor: Kustanay
Przewalski horses, Autor: Kustanay

Przewalski’s Horse is a Feral Domestic Horse

Przewalski’s horses were thought to be the last wild species of horse. A recent international study led by Professor Ludovic Orlando, involving the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), has upended that theory. The study, published in the journal “Science“, changes our point of view about domestic horse origins. Based on their archaeological and genetic investigations, the researchers were able to prove that Przewalski’s horse is descended from once-domesticated stock. Some of the horses from the domesticated herds escaped and became the ancestors of all present-day Przewalski’s horse populations. A second horse species existing at that time replaced Przewalski’s horses as domestic horses, establishing the lineage from which all modern domestic horses descend....

 

 

Author: Leibniz-IZW
Author: Leibniz-IZW

Leopard meals: females go for diversity

Female leopards have a much wider spectrum of prey species than males. ...

 

 

Fitting a GPS-collar and collecting blood from an immobilised cheetah in Namibia. Copyright: Bettina Wachter/Leibniz-IZW
Fitting a GPS-collar and collecting blood from an immobilised cheetah in Namibia. Copyright: Bettina Wachter/Leibniz-IZW

Citizen Science as a concept for success in wildlife biology

Reliability of data and motivation of citizens are the factors of success

The involvement of citizens in research projects is booming. Citizen scientists allow professional scientists to work with much larger data sets than in the past and thus help in achieving better research results. However, for a successful collaboration it is critical that the quality of submitted data is ensured and the motivation of citizens is maintained over a long time period. This is the conclusion of an international team of scientists with the participation of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin and the lead of the Konrad Lorenz Forschungsstelle for Behaviour and Cognition of the University of Vienna. The team presents four case studies in the field of wildlife biology in the scientific journal “Ethology”...

 

Thomas Hildebrandt, Author: tedxtum
Thomas Hildebrandt, Author: tedxtum

Loss of a Species - A Giant, Extinct

What happens when an animal species goes extinct? Is it due to the natural path of evolution, or the thoughtless actions of humankind? Less than a century ago, hundreds of thousands of northern white rhinos roamed the landscape of Central Africa. Today, there are only three individuals left. Prof. Hildebrandt has made it his mission to save the most endangered mammal species on Earth. Together with his team, he travels around the world to perform incredible work in the area of conservation science, which sometimes requires extreme and dangerous procedures when dealing with animals like rhinos and elephants....

Hyenas at clan communal den, Autor: Sarah Benhaiem/Leibniz-IZW
Hyenas at clan communal den, Autor: Sarah Benhaiem/Leibniz-IZW

Social status influences infection risk and disease-induced mortality

Spotted hyena cubs of high-ranking mothers have a lower probability of infection with and are less likely to die from canine distemper virus (CDV) than cubs of low-ranking mothers. In subadults and adults, the picture is reversed – high-ranking females exhibit a higher infection probability than low-ranking females whereas mortality was similar for both groups. These are the surprising and interesting results of a long-term study conducted by scientists at the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) who investigated how social status and age influence the risk of infection with CDV and its consequences for survival. They have just been published in the scientific journal “Functional Ecology”....

 

Vampire bat. Brock Fenton.
Vampire bat. Brock Fenton.

You are what you eat: Diet-specific adaptations in vampire bats

Vampire bats feed exclusively on blood, a mode of feeding unique amongst mammals. It has therefore been long suspected that vampire bats have highly specific evolutionary adaptations, which would be documented in their genome, and most likely also have an unusual microbiome, the community of micro-organisms assembled in their digestive tract which may help with the digestion of blood. An international group of scientists including several from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) analysed the genome of vampire bats and the microorganisms that live in their gut and asked the question how much the viruses contained in the blood may affect the vampire bats.  

 ...

 

Wolf Canis lupus Autor: Heiko Anders
Wolf Canis lupus Autor: Heiko Anders

Committed to relatives: Hounds and wolves share their parasites

Grey wolves, as all wild animals, are hosts to a variety of parasites. The presence of grey wolves in German forests has little influence on the parasite burden of hunting dogs. This reassuring conclusion is the result of a new study at the Berlin-based Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife-Research (IZW). The study examined the faeces of 78 hunting dogs over several months in an area without wolves and in one that had been recolonised. The results have been published in the open access scientific journal “International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife”.  

 ...

 

Cheetah. Portas R_Leibniz-IZW
Cheetah. Portas R_Leibniz-IZW

Cheetah populations are endangered – Red List status should be immediately upgraded

A comprehensive assessment of cheetah populations in southern Africa reveals the critical state of one of the planet’s most iconic wild cats. An international group of scientists presents evidence that realistic population estimates of cheetah in southern Africa are lower than previously recognised and that their population decline support a call to list the cheetah as “Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.  ...

Fruit fly (Violin Fly)/Patrick Debelle
Fruit fly (Violin Fly)/Patrick Debelle

Contests for female attention turns males into better performers - in fruit flies

Giving females an opportunity to choose the male they mate with leads to the evolution of better performing males, according to new research into the behaviour of fruit flies performed by University of Sheffield, University of St Andrews and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany. ...

Saola cameratrap 2013 WWF
Saola cameratrap 2013 WWF

Establishing a conservation breeding programme to save the last saola

The saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis), a primitive wild cattle endemic to the Annamite mountain range in Vietnam and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), is in immediate danger of extinction. The primary threat to its survival is intensive commercial snaring to supply the thriving wild meat trade in Indochina. In order to save the saola it is essential to establish a conservation breeding programme. In a letter published in Science, a group of conservationists and conservation scientists, including members of the IUCN Saola Working Group and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research Berlin, have voiced their concern about the future of the species and stressed the importance of urgent ex situ management....

ANTON MOLNÁR
ANTON MOLNÁR

Charity auction to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction

with presenter Nina Ruge and Andreas Knieriem, Director of Berlin Zoo

Thursday, 5th of October 2017, 4.00 p.m. Hotel Kempinski ADLON Berlin

more...

Dr. Frank Göritz (links) bei einem Rettungseinsatz im Gazastreifen
Dr. Frank Göritz (links) bei einem Rettungseinsatz im Gazastreifen

Leibniz IZW researcher receives international “Four Paws Animal Welfare Award”

On September 11th, Dr. Frank Göritz, scientist and Head Veterinarian received the “Vier Pfoten Tierschutzpreis” in Vienna....

Gudrun Wibbelt/Leibniz-IZW
Red squirrel with poxvirus lesions. Gudrun Wibbelt/Leibniz-IZW

Novel poxvirus threatens juvenile squirrels 

A previously unknown poxvirus causes severe disease in European red squirrels from Germany. Molecular genetic investigations revealed a new virus species ...

Author: Zoo Berlin
Author: Zoo Berlin

Leibniz IZW welcomes Berlin panda bears  

Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz IZW) support the Berlin Zoo in their future panda breeding programme....

Satellite data to map endangered monkey populations on Earth
Satellite data to map endangered monkey populations on Earth

Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led bythe Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research....

Author: O. Lindecke/Leibniz-IZW
Author: O. Lindecke/Leibniz-IZW

Nathusius and Soprano bats are attracted to green light

A new study challenges the tenet that herpes viruses, like most enveloped viruses, are relatively unstable outside their host. Under a variety of conditions equine herpesvirus remained stable and infectious over a three week period. This suggests that untreated water could be a source of infection by some herpesviruses. The results are reported in the scientific journal “Scientific Reports”....

Equine herpresvirus, Author: Walid A/Leibniz-IZW
Equine herpresvirus, Author: Walid A/Leibniz-IZW

Can airborne viruses survive in water?

A new study challenges the tenet that herpes viruses, like most enveloped viruses, are relatively unstable outside their host. Under a variety of conditions equine herpesvirus remained stable and infectious over a three week period. This suggests that untreated water could be a source of infection by some herpesviruses. The results are reported in the scientific journal “Scientific Reports”.

 

 

 

Wild boars in Berlin, Author: David Wiemer/Leibniz-IZW
Wild boars in Berlin, Author: David Wiemer/Leibniz-IZW

Wild heart: urban wild boars prefer natural food resources

Different than expected, wild boars do not come to Berlin in order to use garbage or other anthropogenic food resources. In fact, also in the city they predominantly consume natural resources. This is the surprising result of a study conducted by the Leibniz-Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW), financially supported by National Geographic and the „Stiftung Naturschutz Berlin“. The researchers analysed the stomachs of 247 wild boars from Berlin and the surrounding countryside. The results have been published in the scientific journal „PLOS ONE“. ...

Handling cheetah, Author: Wachter/Leibniz-IZW
Handling cheetah, Author: Wachter/Leibniz-IZW

How cheetahs stay fit and healthy

Cheetahs are categorised as vulnerable species, partly because they have been considered to be prone to diseases due to their supposed weak immune system. However, they are hardly ever sick in the wild. A research team from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) recently discovered that cheetahs have developed a very efficient innate “first line of defence” immunity to compensate potential deficiencies in other components of their immune system. The scientists have published their results in the open access journal “Scientific Reports” of the Nature Publishing Group....

ovum pick up southern white rhino, author Leibniz-IZW
ovum pick up southern white rhino, author Leibniz-IZW

The Northern White Rhino – Advanced Reproductive Technologies Provide a Realistic Chance for Saving the Critically Endangered Species

In early March, Dvůr Králové Zoo, Czech Republic, hosted a meeting of the European Northern White Rhino Working Group. The international experts aim at saving the northern white rhino from the brink of extinction. With the three last individuals incapable of natural breeding, it is the most endangered mammal at present. The meeting in Dvůr Králové proved that collection of eggs, known as ovum pick-up (OPU), from the last two females can be conducted in the foreseeable future. The advanced OPU technique was developed for these large (two tons) creatures in the past two years in the closely related southern white rhino. Gamete collection was combined with advanced in-vitro egg maturation and fertilisation protocols....

                                                                                                               more news...

 

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.