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.

Bats: A good immune system ensures success in reproduction

Ayone who is healthy has more enthusiasm for reproduction. The same is true even for bats. Male bats with a good immune system are more successful in being selected by females during mate choice and reproduction than their ailing counterparts.

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Modify thy ejaculate to determine the sex of your offspring

Some animal and human populations were shown to shift their birth sex ratio from the expected unity. Using fluorescence in situ hybridisation, a research team now shows in a study that males in a captive endangered pygmy hippopotamus population may be able to adjust the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome bearing spermatozoa  in their ejaculates, in favour of producing more female. This could represent a way for the males to reduce competition for females from other males in this captive population.

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The buried code to healthy ageing

Jena`s Leibniz Institute for Age Research - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) and Berlin`s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) from Germany are jointly starting a project for ageing research in 2012. Within the framework of the “Joint Initiative Research and Innovation” (PAKT), researchers want to identify molecular networks responsible for a long life in health. Naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber) act as a model organism, these animals can reach a high age without suffering from age-related diseases. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal States invest 1.5 million euro within three years for this innovative research.

 

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A big bite brings big success

One of the biggest puzzles in evolution is why some groups of organisms contain many species while others have only a few. You might expect that groups of the same geological age would have a similar number of species, but that is seldom the case. Among mammals, the New World Leaf-Nosed bats comprise almost 200 species, while their closest relatives include only 10 species despite evolving over the same period of time. Why are there so many species of New World Leaf-Nosed bats?

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Ancient DNA provides new insights into cave paintings of horses

An international team of  researchers has used ancient DNA to shed new light on the realism of  horses depicted in prehistoric cave paintings.

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