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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

High-ranking mothers provide their sons with a privileged upbringing and this increases their son’s success after leaving home. This was now demonstrated for the first time in a social mammal, the spotted hyena.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Each night, tropical fruit-eating bats ingest large amounts of secondary plant compounds with their food. This may become particularly problematic for pregnant or lactating bat mothers, since secondary plant compounds may damage the embryo or the juvenile. Now,a scientific study describes for the first time how female fruit-eating bats deal with this situation.