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.

World’s most endangered otter “rediscovered” in Deramakot

The world’s most endangered otter species known as the hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana) has been “rediscovered” in Deramakot Forest Reserve in Sabah by a collaboration of German and Malaysian researchers.

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Deadly bat fungus found in several European countries

Within five years the death toll of North American bats succumbing to “white-nose syndrome” has reached the one million threshold, now the causative fungus Geomyces destructans was identified in a number of European countries – without detrimental effects for the native bat populations.

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Joint forces to prevent extinction of smallest rhino in the world

International scientists and zoo experts started together with Malaysian governmental and conservation organisations an extensive programme to protect the Sabah rhino.

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Mystery about domestication of horse has been unravelled – now location and time are proved

Wild horses were domesticated in the Ponto-Caspian steppe region (today Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania) in the 3rd millennium B.C. Despite the pivotal role horses have played in the history of human societies, the process of their domestication is not well understood. A new study unravelled the mystery about domestication of horse.

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How hyenas ‘inherit’ their social status

An international team of scientists now answered the question how social status is inherited in one of the most social of all mammals, the spotted hyena. The scientists used observations during the last 20 years of rare cases of adoption among hyenas in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania in combination with the latest molecular techniques to identify genetic mothers to demonstrate that hyena mothers pass on their social status by supporting their young during social interactions with other group members.

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