WANTED: DIPLOMA OR MASTER STUDENTS
We are urgently looking for two motivated students for a diploma/Master´s thesis on the following topics: 1. Genetic Variability of ground squirrel populations in Austria and 2. Genetic variability of a large ground squirrel colony at the Western border of the species´range. More information here [Link 1] (in German - for English contact the scientific supervisor).
Assistant professorship for our wildlife researcher
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
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)
Video on the project (in German) [Link 4]
(Web editor, 10 March 2015)
Fast food for brown bears
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 6]" ist published in the January 2015 edition of the journal Wildlife Biology [Link 7].
More info [Link 8]
(Web editor, 8 January 2015)
Europe´s wild side - the comeback of lynx, wolf, brown bear and wolverine
Threats to endangered species is regularly in the news. All the better that sometimes there are success stories. Petra Kaczensky, Georg Rauer and Felix Knauer of the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology and other international researchers have published a study in the renowned journal Science. The article shows that large predators - lynx, wolf, brown bear, and wolverine - are finding new habitat even in densely populated Europe. Altogether Europe now hosts populations of about 17.000 bears, 12.000 wolves, 9.000 lynx and 1.250 wolverines in its densely populated cultural landscapes. The return of lynx and co. leads to heated discussions in many places. An ongoing dialogue with stakeholders and an active conflict management are very important.
More info (Science article)
(Web editor, 19 December 2014)
The power of the power nap – Scientists uncover secrets of hibernation
For hibernating mammals, the pre-winter months are a race against time to accumulate enough energy reserves to last until spring. Offspring born late in the year have much less time to achieve this. Sylvain Giroud and colleagues from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at the Vetmeduni Vienna have discovered that power-napping can help late-born garden dormice overcome these unfavourable odds. The scientists also found a link between time spent at higher temperatures and ageing. The results were published in the Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B [Link 12].
More info [Link 13]
(Web editor, 10 November 2014)
News archive... [Link 14]