Invitation: Exhibition "Consequential Choices - Versions of Atlas Making"

Invitation - Graphic design (c) 2015 Pepa Bugueiro Domingo
Invitation image [Link 1]

The exhibition "Consequential Choices - Versions of Atlas Making [Link 2]" will open on Tuesday 26th May 2015 at 7 pm at the Angewandte Innovation Laboratory (Franz Josefs Kai 3, entrance Wiesingerstraße 9, 1010 Vienna). The exhibit will present works of students of the Art & Science master’s programme, University of Applied Arts Vienna.  The art project´s theme was the question what happens when the creation of a scientific atlas is (re)enacted at the margins of a discipline where it meets the (in)consequential choices of artistic research?  Prof. Chris Walzer of the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology is scientific advisor to the Art & Science master’s programme.  The exhibition is open from 27 May to 2 June 2015, Mo to Fr from 11 am to 8 pm.

(Web editor, 30 April 2015)


The latest FIWI annual report 2014 has arrived

Annual report 2014
Cover image FIWI annual report 2014 [Link 3]

To download the report  (in German) please klick on the cover image.  You can find all FIWI annual reports on our info page [Link 4].


The hairy past - Tail hair as an indicator of behaviour and ecology in horses

A Przewalski's mare with her foal in the Mongolian Gobi desert. (Foto: Martina Burnik Šturm)
Photo of a Przewalski-horse mare with foal [Link 5]

Life style leaves chemical traces in hair. In horses, the analysis of tail hair is especially suited as the length of the hair can provide information over a long period of time. Determining the exact period of time that corresponds to a segment of hair is not trivial. Hair does not grow at the same rate in all horses. Petra Kaczensky and Martina Burnik Sturm of the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology have now solved this problem. They developed a method to correctly assign individual hair growth to seasons and thus to a specific time frame. The results were published in the journal  Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry [Link 6].  

More info [Link 7]

(Web editor, 7 May 2015)


The best LIFE Nature projects 2014

Logo of Best LIFE Environment projects [Link 8]
A Hungarian meadow viper (Photo copyright Laszlo Meszaros/The Carpathian Basin Digital Collection of Species)
Photo of a Hungarian meadow viper [Link 9]

The "Best of the Best" LIFE-Project are those judged as most inspiring.  They are meticulously selected by environmental experts according to rigorous criteria. This year's Best of the Best winners have just been announced [Link 10]. Among them is the LIFE Nature Projekt for the conservation of the Hungarian meadow viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis) [Link 11], to which FIWI staff Petra Kaczensky, Chris Walzer, and Gerhard Fluch contributed.  Hungarian meadow viper ist listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.  The project increased the area of the vipers’ favoured grassland habitat by more than 400 ha and reintroduced several hundred vipers bred in captivity.    Currently the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology is partner in a new LIFE Nature project on Population level management and conservation of brown bears in the northern Dinaric Mountains and the Alps [Link 12].

(Web editor, 29 April 2015)


Vetmeduni Success prize goes to FIWI researcher

Certificate award by Rector Sonja Hammschmid and Vice rector Otto Doblhoff-Dier. At right Nikolaus Huber (Photo: Ernst Hammerschmid / Vetmeduni Vienna)
Photo of Nikolaus Huber at the award ceremony [Link 13]

Veterinary scientist Nikolaus Huber is one of three prize winners of this year´s Vetmeduni Success Prize and will receive a grant of 15.000 Euro for his dissertation.  Nikolaus Huber is writing his dissertation entitled "Waking up to fight" at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology.  He is examining how infections affect the sleep-wake cycle of garden dormice during hibernation.  The research is supervised by colleagues Thomas Ruf from FIWI and Armin Saalmüller from the Institute of Immunology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna.

(Web editor, 30 March 2015)


Assistant professorship for our wildlife researcher

Teresa Valencak is now an assistant professor. (Photo: Ernst Hammerschmid)
Photo of Teresa Valencak

In December 2014 Teresa Valencak was selected for one of four qualifying positions at the Vetmeduni Vienna. The PhD zoologist received her teaching authorization for wildlife biologiy early last year. She teaches and researches at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology.  Since 2013 the Vetmeduni has instituted so-called qualifying positions aimed at promoting young scientists and preparing them for a university career.  These positions enable young researchers to gain leadership experience in their field in preparation for eventually becoming a full professor.  At FIWI Teresa Valencak leads the working group for experimental biology.

(Web editor, 16 March 2015)


Saker falcons readily accept nest boxes on power poles

The Saker falcon is a globally endangered bird of prey. It is among the largest and heaviest species within the family of falcons. (Photo: Richard Zink/Vetmeduni Vienna)
Photo of a juvenile Saker falcon [Link 14]

BirdLife, the Austrian Power Grid AG (APG) and the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology of the Vetmeduni Vienna have been working on a conservation project for the Saker falcon for several years.  One project activity involves mounting nest boxes on electricity poles in Austria´s provinces of Burgenland and Lower Austria.  These nesting places appear to be quite popular.  2014 was a new record year:  31 Saker falcon pairs raised 47 offspring, and the new breeding season 2015 has already begun.  This makes excellent news: this endangered bird species is successfully making its home in Austria again.

More info (Press release in German)
 [Link 15]

Video on the project (in German) [Link 16]

(Web editor, 10 March 2015)


Fast food for brown bears

Slowenische Braunbären haben es leicht mit der Nahrungssuche. (Foto: Petra Kaczensky)
Foto eines Braunbären im Wald [Link 17]

The availability and quality of food have an important influence on the behaviour and population dynamics of wildlife.  In Slovenia, like in many European countries brown bears receive supplemental food to facilitate hunting or to ward off bear damages.  This management measure is expensive and controversial, as its effect on bears is not well studied.  Petra Kaczensky from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology/Vetmeduni Vienna and colleagues from the Biotechnical Institute and the Forestry Institute of the University of Ljubljana wanted to find out what role supplemental feeding plays in the bears´energy budget and in the occurrence of bear damages.  They analysed more than 700 scat samples from three different regions in Slovenia.  They found a high proportion of supplemental food in the bears´diet.  The authors warn, however, that undifferentiated feeding of bears may not necessarily lead to a reduction in conflicts.  The article "Fast food bears: brown bear diet in a human-dominated landscape with intensive supplemental feeding [Link 18]"  ist published in the January 2015 edition of the journal Wildlife Biology [Link 19].

More info [Link 20]

(Web editor, 8 January 2015)



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