On Open House Day visitors can look behind the scenes at the main campus of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. There will be guided tours, lectures, and interactive displays to introduce visitors to research activities at the University. The Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution will again be represented with interesting insights into wildlife research.
When: 24. May 2014 - 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More info [Link ] (in German)
Birth control at the zoo: vets meet the elusive goal of hippo castration
One method for controlling zoo animal populations is male castration. For hippopotami, however, this is notoriously difficult, as the pertinent male reproductive anatomy proves singularly elusive. A team of veterinarians led by Chris Walzer from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, and colleagues, have demonstrated a successful method for castrating male hippos. Their results are published in the journal Theriogenology [Link 2].
More info [Link 3]
(Web editor 20 December 2013)
Ural owls move in at Wilhelminenberg
The new tenants have moved in: After adapting an old kea parrot aviary at Wilheminenberg for ural owls, a couple has taken up residence. The two owls have adjusted well to their new home despite the stress of relocation and are getting along very well - we are therefore hopeful that new owl offspring will arrive in 2014. A big thank you to the animal caretaker team at KLIVV and FIWI!
More info on the project in the latest Newsletter [Link 4] (in German).
(Web editor 18 December 2013)
Baking for a cause - Department success at the baking contest BackVETbewerb 2013
The 2013 "BackVETbewerb" (baking contest) took place on 3 December at the Vetmeduni Vienna. Staff and students put their baking skills to the test for a good cause: The proceeds from sale of the delicious creation will benefit the aid projects of Veterinarians without Borders (VSF) [Link 5] in East Africa. The Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution scored twice: We were awarded 1st prize in the category "organisational unit with the most participants", and the superb sweet creations [Link 6] cakes baked by ethologist Michaela Thoß (here [Link 7] with Rector Sonia Hammerschmid and other winners) won 2nd prize!
(Web editor 5 December 2013)
International conference on balancing renewable energy and nature in the Alps, Brig, Switzerland, 12-13 November 2013
Where and how can we use renewable energy sources in Alpine countries while protecting natural ecosystems? First answers to this question were proposed at an international conference in Switzerland. Representatives from the arenas of politics, administration, energy, conservation, and science discussed possible solutions and presented conrete examples from the Alpine region. The recharge.green [Link 8] project, which is led by the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund within the framework of the Alpine Space Programme [Link 9].
More info [Link 10]
Fat and fit: How dormice make optimal use of their body fat reserves
Edible dormice store considerable amounts of fat in summer. Their fat reserves are necessary for them to survive a long hibernation – on average 8 months – in underground cavities. How do hibernators allocate surplus body fat reserves to optimize survival? A research team led by Claudia Bieber at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology found that animals with larger fat reserves prefer boosting their metabolism more often to shortening their hibernation. This protects their body from cold damage. A long hibernation also protects them from predators since they remain well hidden. The results are published in the Journal Functional Ecology.
More info [Link 11]
(Web editor 22 October 2013)
New FWF project approved: Physiological limits in Syrian golden hamsters
The FWF Austrian Science Fund [Link 12] recently approved a new project of Teresa Valencak of the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology. In response to high metabolic requirements such as during periods of cold exposure, high long-term physical activity or throughout lactation animals raise their metabolic rate whilst maintaining their body weight through increased food intake and energy assimilation. However, in all of these situations, there are limits to energy turnover, even in the presence of unlimited food. Thus, animals may not only be limited by food availability in the environment, but also by metabolic ceilings, also referred to as the “physiological limit”. The team around Teresa Valencak will investigate whether in lactating Syrian golden hamster females the extent of heat produced as a byproduct of both metabolism and milk production constrains the nutrient quantity that females can assimilate.
(Web editor 9 October 2013)
Personality differences: In lean times red deer with dominant personalities pay a high price
Saving energy is important for humans and animals alike when resources are limited. A team around Walter Arnold of the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, found out that although higher-ranked red deer gain privileged access to patches of food, they also have higher metabolic rates and thus use more energy. This can be a serious disadvantage in the winter when red deer rely largely on their limited stored body fat to survive.
More info [Link 13]
(Web editor 18 September 2013)
News archive... [Link 14]