Strengthening scientific approaches in wildlife welfare

With its expertise in animal welfare, the Leibniz-IZW contributes to an appropriate management of animals in human care and significantly improves science-based approaches and methods for it.

Project details
Duration: permanent
Third-party funded: yes
Involved Department(s): Dept Reproduction Management, Dept Wildlife Diseases
Leibniz-IZW Project Leader(s): Frank Göritz (Dept Reproduction Management)
Leibniz-IZW Project Team:

Thomas Hildebrandt, Guido Fritsch, Marc Gölkel (all: Dept Reproduction Management), Gudrun Wibbelt (Dept Wildlife Diseases), Heribert Hofer (Director)

Consortium Partner(s):

Four Paws 

Current Funding Organisation: Four Paws 
Research Foci:
Understanding wildlife health and disturbed homeostasis
Understanding the environmental context
Developing theories, methods, and tools

In recent years, the expertise of Leibniz-IZW scientists on the protection of wild animals has been increasingly in demand. This ranges from expert opinions in legal proceedings to participation in the development of the latest version of the mammal expert opinion of the BMEL (German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture) and practical veterinary services for the rescue, care and accompaniment of wild animals from living conditions that are not in keeping with animal welfare standards. Here, the current focus is on predators, especially bears.


Four Paws and Leibniz-IZW rescue the remaining animals from the Khan Younis Zoo in Gaza
Four Paws and Leibniz-IZW rescue a brown bear from a Zoo in Poland
Four Paws and the Leibniz-IZW rescue animals from a Zoo in the Syrian war zone
Four Paws and the Leibniz-IZW rescue a brown bear from Albania
Four Paws and the Leibniz-IZW rescue starving animals in Sudan


Selected Publications

Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL); Tierschutzreferat (Hrsg.; 2014): Gutachten über Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Säugetieren. Arbeitsgruppe zur Überarbeitung des Gutachtens über Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Säugetieren.

Huber N, Marasco V, Painer J, Vetter SG, Göritz F, Kaczensky P, Walzer C (2019): Leukocyte coping capacity: an integrative parameter for wildlife welfare within conservation interventions. FRONT VET SCI 6, 105.

Goettling J, Goeritz F, Jewgenow K, Painer J (2016): Serum chemistry and haematology for female Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx). EUR J WILDL RES 62, 365-367. doi:10.1007/s10344-016-0990-4