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.

Wind farm
Wind farm, Photo: micha74un - Fotolia

German wind farms kill bats from near and far

Local wind turbines may have large-scale negative effects on distant ecosystems. Results of research by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) published today demonstrate that bats killed at German wind turbines originate mostly from northeastern Europe.

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African elephant
African elephant/Photo: Department of Cognitive Biology; University of Vienna

Mystery of elephant infrasounds revealed

In the current edition of "Science", an international team of voice researchers and cognitive biologists at the University of Vienna, and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, Germany led by Christian Herbst, Angela Stoeger, Roland Frey and Tecumseh Fitch, provides new insights into the production of Elephant communication. The so-called "infrasounds", i.e. sounds with pitches below the range of human hearing, are found to be produced with the same physical mechanism as human speech or singing.

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Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta), Photo: Marion L East

Assertiveness is the best form of defence

A new scientific study shows for the first time in spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) twin litters, that success in sibling competition for maternal milk is influenced by training effects, sex and hunger, and that dominant siblings exert incomplete control over their littermate’s access to the resource.

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New findings document limited genetic diversity in the extinct Tasmanian tiger

Scientists have now demonstrated that the Tasmanian tiger, also known as Tasmanian wolf or thylacine, possessed limited genetic variability prior to its extinction. This might have been caused by geographical isolation when Tasmania was isolated from mainland Australia 10-13 thousand years ago.

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Luteal development and pregnancy in elephants

Researchers have found which mechanisms are responsible that elephants have the longest pregnancy in the world. With up to 680 days their pregnancy is longer than in any other mammal studied so far.

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