Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
Recent publications
Background Hibernation allows species to conserve energy and thereby bridge unfavorable environmental conditions. At the same time, hibernation imposes substantial ecological and physiological costs. Understanding how hibernation timing differs within and between species can provide insights into the underlying drivers of this trade-off. However, this requires individualized long-term data that are often unavailable. Here, we used automatic monitoring techniques and a reproducible analysis pipeline to assess the individualized hibernation phenology of two sympatric bat species. Our study is based on data of more than 1100 RFID-tagged Daubenton’s bats ( Myotis daubentonii ) and Natterer’s bats ( Myotis nattereri ) collected over seven years at a hibernaculum in Germany. We used linear mixed models to analyze species-, sex- and age-specific differences in entrance, emergence and duration of the longest continuous period spent in the hibernaculum. Results Overall, Daubenton’s bats entered the hibernaculum earlier and emerged later than Natterer’s bats, resulting in a nearly twice as long hibernation duration. In both species, adult females entered earlier and emerged from hibernation later than adult males. Hibernation duration was shorter for juveniles than adults with the exception of adult male Natterer’s bats whose hibernation duration was shortest of all classes. Finally, hibernation timing differed among years, but yearly variations in entrance and emergence timing were not equally shifted in both species. Conclusions Our results suggest that even in sympatric species, and across sex and age classes, hibernation timing may be differentially affected by environmental conditions. This highlights the necessity of using individualized information when studying the impact of changing environments on hibernation phenology.
Mercury has become a ubiquitous hazardous element even ending up in pristine areas such as the Arctic, where it biomagnifies and leaves especially top predators vulnerable to potential health effects. Here we investigate total mercury (THg) concentrations and dietary proxies for trophic position and habitat foraging (δ¹⁵N and δ¹³C, respectively) in fur of 30 Arctic wolves collected during 1869–1998 in the Canadian High Arctic and Greenland. Fur THg concentration (mean ± SD) of 1.46 ± 1.39 μg g ⁻¹ dry weight is within the range of earlier reported values for other Arctic terrestrial species. Based on putative thresholds for Hg-mediated toxic health effects, the studied Arctic wolves have most likely not been at compromised health. Dietary proxies show high dietary plasticity among Arctic wolves deriving nutrition from both marine and terrestrial food sources at various trophic positions. Variability in THg concentrations seem to be related to the wolves' trophic positions rather than to different carbon sources or regional differences (East Greenland, the Foxe Basin and Baffin Bay area, respectively). Although the present study remains limited due to the scarce, yet unique historic study material and small sample size, it provides novel information on temporal and spatial variation in Hg pollution of remote Arctic species.
The causes and consequences of being in a particular dominance position have been illuminated in various animal species, and new methods to assess dominance relationships and to describe the structure of dominance hierarchies have been developed in recent years. Most research has focused on same-sex relationships, however, so that intersexual dominance relationships and hierarchies including both sexes have remained much less studied. In particular, different methods continue to be employed to rank males and females along a dominance hierarchy, and sex biases in dominance are still widely regarded as simple byproducts of sexual size dimorphism. However, males and females regularly compete over similar resources when living in the same group, and sexual conflict takes a variety of forms across Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 01 frontiersin.org Kappeler et al. 10.3389/fevo.2022.918773 societies. These processes affect the fitness of both sexes, and are mitigated by intersexual hierarchies. In this study, we draw on data from free-ranging populations of nine species of mammals that vary in the degree to which members of one sex dominate members of the other sex to explore the consequences of using different criteria and procedures for describing intra-and intersexual dominance relationships in these societies. Our analyses confirmed a continuum in patterns of intersexual dominance, from strictly male-dominated species to strictly female-dominated species. All indices of the degree of female dominance were well correlated with each other. The rank order among same-sex individuals was highly correlated between the intra-and intersexual hierarchies, and such correlation was not affected by the degree of female dominance. The relative prevalence of aggression and submission was sensitive to variation in the degree of female dominance across species, with more submissive signals and fewer aggressive acts being used in societies where female dominance prevails. Thus, this study provides important insights and key methodological tools to study intersexual dominance relationships in mammals.
Aim Concern about the impacts of biological invasions has generated a great deal of interest in understanding factors that determine invasion success. Most of our current knowledge comes from static approaches that use spatial patterns as a proxy of temporal processes. These approaches assume that species are present in areas where environmental conditions are the most favourable. However, this assumption is problematic when applied to dynamic processes such as species expansions when equilibrium has not been reached. Location Iberian Peninsula. Taxon Birds. Methods In our work, we analyse the roles played by human activities, climatic matching and spatial connectivity on the two main underlying processes shaping the spread of invasive species (i.e. colonization and extinction) using a dynamic modelling approach. We use a large data set that has recorded the occurrence of two invasive bird species—the ring‐necked (Psittacula krameri) and the monk (Myiopsitta monachus) parakeets—in the Iberian Peninsula from 1991 to 2016. Results Human activities and climate matching play a role on species range dynamics. Human influence and urbanization were the most relevant factors explaining colonization. Additionally, an effect of climate matching was found. Persistence (the inverse of extinction) was mainly affected by human influence for the monk parakeet and by the extent of urban environments for the ring‐necked parakeet. Main conclusions Human activities play a major role not only on colonization of new locations, but also on persistence during range expansion. Additionally, natural processes—notably climate matching—also affect new colonizations. These findings add to our understanding of the mechanisms that might allow alien species to expand their geographic range at new locations and might help to improve our capacity to assess invasion risks and impacts accurately.
Two different types of epithelial cells constitute the inner surface of the endometrium. While luminal epithelial cells line the uterine cavity and build the embryo-maternal contact zone, glandular epithelial cells form tubular glands reaching deeply into the endometrial stroma. To facilitate investigations considering the functional and molecular differences between the two populations of epithelial cells and their contribution to reproductive processes, we aimed at establishing differentiated in vitro models of both the luminal and the glandular epithelium of the porcine endometrium using an air–liquid interface (ALI) approach. We first tested if porcine luminal endometrium epithelial cells (PEEC-L) reproducibly form differentiated epithelial monolayers under ALI conditions by monitoring the morphology and the trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER). Subsequently, luminal (PEEC-L) and glandular epithelial cells (PEEC-G) were consecutively isolated from the endometrium of the uterine horn. Both cell types were characterized by marker gene expression analysis immediately after isolation. Cells were separately grown at the ALI and assessed by means of histomorphometry, TEER, and marker gene expression after 3 weeks of culture. PEEC-L and PEEC-G formed polarized monolayers of differentiated epithelial cells with a moderate TEER and in vivo -like morphology at the ALI. They exhibited distinct patterns of functional and cell type-specific marker gene expression after isolation and largely maintained these patterns during the culture period. The here presented cell culture procedure for PEEC-L and -G offers new opportunities to study the impact of embryonic signals, endocrine effectors, and reproductive toxins on both porcine endometrial epithelial cell types under standardized in vitro conditions. Graphical Abstract Created with BioRender.com .
Fertility control is a promising method for controlling the population of highly fertile species such as wild mice. Immunization with the mouse-specific contraceptive zona pellucida 3 peptide (mZP3) reduces fertility in some mouse strains, including wild mice. Here, we employed a plant expression system for the production of glycosylated mZP3 and evaluated the immunogenicity of plant-produced mZP3-based antigens in a female BALB/c mouse model. In the mZP3-1 antigen, mZP3 fused with a T-cell epitope of tetanus toxoid, a histidine tag and a SEKDEL sequence. A fusion antigen (GFP-mZP3-1) and a polypeptide antigen containing three repeats of mZP3 (mZP3-3) were also examined. Glycosylation of mZP3 should be achieved by targeting proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum. Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression of antigens resulted in successful production of mZP3 in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. Compared with mZP3-1, GFP-mZP3-1 and mZP3-3 increased the production of the mZP3 peptide by more than 20 and 25 times, respectively. The glycosylation of the proteins was indicated by their size and their binding to a carbohydrate-binding protein. Both plant-produced GFP-mZP3-1 and mZP3-3 antigens were immunogenic in mice; however, mZP3-3 generated significantly higher levels of serum antibodies against mZP3. Although, as previously reported, the formation of antibodies did not lead to a significant reduction in fertility in BALB/c mice, strong and specific binding of antibodies to wild mouse zona pellucida was observed. Therefore, we assume that the plants might be an efficient system for the production of mZP3-3 as a contraceptive vaccine to reduce fertility in wild mice.
Background : Spermatozoa interact with oviduct secretions before fertilization in vivo but the molecular players of this dialog and underlying dynamics remain largely unknown. Our objectives were to identify an exhaustive list of sperm-interacting proteins (SIPs) in the bovine oviduct fluid and to evaluate the impact of the oviduct anatomical region (isthmus vs . ampulla) and time relative to ovulation (pre-ovulatory vs. post-ovulatory) on SIP number and abundance. Methods : Pools of oviduct fluid (OF) from the pre-ovulatory ampulla, pre-ovulatory isthmus, post-ovulatory ampulla, and post-ovulatory isthmus in the side of ovulation were collected from the slaughterhouse. Frozen-thawed bull sperm were incubated with OF or phosphate-buffered saline (control) for 60 min at 38.5°C (4 replicates per condition). After protein extraction and digestion, sperm and OF samples were analyzed by nanoLC-MS/MS and label-free protein quantification. Results : A quantitative comparison between proteins identified in sperm and OF samples (2,333 and 2,471 proteins, respectively) allowed for the identification of 245 SIPs. The highest number (187) were found in the pre-ovulatory isthmus, i.e . time and place of the sperm reservoir. In total, 41 SIPs (17%) were differentially abundant between stages in a given region or between regions at a given stage and 76 SIPs (31%) were identified in only one region × stage condition. Functional analysis of SIPs predicted roles in cell response to stress, regulation of cell motility, fertilization, and early embryo development. Conclusion : This study provides a comprehensive list of SIPs in the bovine female genital tract and evidences dynamic spatio-temporal changes in sperm-oviduct interactions around ovulation time. Moreover, these data provide protein candidates to improve sperm conservation and in vitro fertilization media.
Migratory species have a limited time for habitat selection upon arrival at the breeding grounds. This is especially evident in arctic migrants, which are restricted by a narrow window of opportunity when environmental conditions are favorable for breeding. This general time constraint is amplified in rough-legged buzzards (Buteo lagopus) who, as many other arctic predators, rely on rodent (lemming) cycles during the breeding season, a 3-5 year period of waxing and waning local food abundance. It remains unclear how arctic predators, especially migrants, can find nesting areas where rodents are numerous when their selection time is so limited. We hypothesized that rough-legged buzzards select nesting areas during the previous breeding season. We tracked 43 rough-legged buzzards using GPS telemetry and assessed their movements post-breeding prospecting behavior to test our hypothesis. Here we show that rough-legged buzzards search for a nesting location during the previous breeding season in a post-breeding period. In the following year, individuals return to and attempt to breed in the area they inspected the year before. Rough-legged buzzards, regardless of breeding success, remained in the Arctic all breeding season until the end of September. Failed breeders prospected more than successful ones. At the same time, buzzards that bred in the rodent-free ecosystem prospected less and showed a high level of philopatry. Therefore, as rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in the warming Arctic, we can expect arctic predators to change their movement patterns in the future with serious potential consequences for their conservation. We anticipate our study provides a step forward toward understanding movement and settlement decisions in animals experiencing high inter-annual environmental variation.
The prevailing trend of increasing urbanisation and habitat fragmentation makes knowledge of species’ habitat requirements and distribution a crucial factor in conservation and urban planning. Species distribution models (SDMs) offer powerful toolboxes for discriminating the underlying environmental factors driving habitat suitability. Nevertheless, challenges in SDMs emerge if multiple data sets - often sampled with different intention and therefore sampling scheme – can complement each other and increase predictive accuracy. Here, we investigate the potential of using recent data integration techniques to model potential habitat and movement corridors for Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in an urban area. We constructed hierarchical models integrating data sets of different quality stemming from unstructured on one side and semi-structured wildlife observation campaigns on the other side in a combined likelihood approach and compared the results to modelling techniques based on only one data source. Our study highlights the increasing importance of considering multiple data sets for SDMs to enhance their predictive performance. We finally used Circuitscape (version 4.0.5) on the most robust model to delineate suitable movement corridors for red squirrels as a basis for planning road mortality mitigation measures. Our results indicate that even though red squirrels are common, urban habitats are rather small and partially lack connectivity along natural connectivity corridors in Berlin. Thus, additional fragmentation could bring the species closer to its limit to persist in urban environments.
It is important to assess whether anthropogenic activity affects wildlife distribution and resource use to appraise the efficacy of multi-use protected areas. Habitat degradation and vegetation damage as indicators of competitive and facilitative livestock-wildlife interactions were the focus of this study. Foot transects were conducted in the dry season of 2011, wet season of 2012, and dry season of 2012 in five wildlife sanctuaries in the Amboseli ecosystem, Kenya, to determine whether habitat degradation and vegetation damage affected wildlife distribution and wildlife-livestock interactions. Simpson's and Jaccard's biodiversity indices and Pianka's niche overlap index were used to assess wildlife-livestock interactions across a gradient of habitat degradation. In the dry season, Jaccard's, Pianka's, and Simpson's indices (0.50, 0.84, and 0.99, respectively) peaked at the highest level of degradation. In the wet season, Jaccard's index (0.42) peaked at a fairly high level of habitat degradation, Pianka's index (0.82) at a fairly low level, and Simpson's (0.80) at the lowest level. Two-way ANOVA revealed that there was no effect of degradation or vegetation damage on wildlife distribution irrespective of the feeding guild. Therefore, it appears that continued shared use of the Amboseli landscape by wildlife and livestock is feasible. K E Y W O R D S Kenya, livestock, pastoralism, wildlife Résumé Il est essentiel de déterminer si l'activité anthropique affecte la répartition de la faune
Wildfire dynamics are changing around the world and understanding their effects on ecological communities and landscapes is urgent and important. We report detailed food webs for unburned, low-to-moderate and high severity burned habitats three years post-fire in the Eldorado National Forest, California. The cumulative cross-habitat food web contains 3,084 ontogenetic stages (nodes) or plant parts comprising 849 species (including 107 primary producers, 634 invertebrates, 94 vertebrates). There were 178,655 trophic interactions between these nodes. We provide information on taxonomy, body size, biomass density and trophic interactions under each of the three burn conditions. We detail 19 sampling methods deployed across 27 sites (nine in each burn condition) used to estimate the richness, body size, abundance and biomass density estimates in the node lists. We provide the R code and raw data to estimate summarized node densities and assign trophic links.
At Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (hereafter Bwindi), illegal activities often provide major challenges to park management. In 1994, an Integrated Conservation and Development Program (ICDP) was introduced in Bwindi as a novel park management approach that included among others, funding of community projects in park adjacent communities. This study assessed key drivers of illegal activities and the impact of long-term funding of community projects on illegal activities reduction in Bwindi. We used a 21-year-old illegal activities dataset, environmental drivers' dataset; a 21-year-old dataset of funded community projects and interviews data of 2734 households located around Bwindi for the study. A total of 3383 illegal activities and 338 funded community projects were recorded. Key drivers of illegal activities in Bwindi were accessibility and the number of funded community projects. Parishes with the highest number of community projects experienced fewer illegal activities. The number of illegal activities was negatively correlated with the number of funded community projects. Water and sanitation and household income-generating projects were the most funded. In conclusion, long-term funding of community projects contributed to reduction in illegal activities. A targeted approach of increasing community projects in those parishes that showed high incidences of illegal activities is recommended. K E Y W O R D S drivers of illegal activities, funding community projects, illegal activities in protected area, integrated conservation and development
Selecting appropriate candidates for genetic rescue mostly relies on previous genetic research and monitoring, while ecological and behavioural traits of the remnant and source populations are rarely considered for such conservation measures. Because of their slow recovery, Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx populations in Central and Western Europe have been a repeated target of genetic reinforcements and reintroductions in the past 50 years. Once inhabiting much of south-eastern Europe, the Balkan lynx L. l. balcanicus is now critically endangered and confined to a small population. Long-term isolation has caused loss of genetic diversity and has possibly led to inbreeding depression. Immediate actions need to consider genetic reinforcement to increase the genetic diversity and secure population viability. Here, we compared the Balkan lynx with two neighbouring populations: Dinaric population originating from the Carpathian subspecies (L.l. carpathicus) and Anatolian population of Caucasian subspecies (L.l. dinniki) to determine which is better suited source from an ecological standpoint. Main findings suggest that the L.l. carpathicus is ecologically more similar to the L.l. balcanicus and therefore likely better suited for the environment of south-western Balkans on the basis of prey preference (roe deer being the main prey), local prey availability (lower lagomorph and higher ungulate availability) and habitat use (predominant use of the mixed and broadleaved forests). We discuss the contrasting results of genetic and ecological analyses from both the evolutionary and conservation perspective and provide potential solutions that would take into account both aspects to pave the road towards potential genetic rescue of the Balkan lynx.
Understanding immunity in wildlife populations is important from both One Health and conservation perspectives. The constitutive innate immune system is the first line of defence against pathogens, and comparisons among taxa can test the impact of evolution and life history on immune function. We investigated serum bacterial killing ability (BKA) of five marsupial species that employ varying life history strategies, demonstrated to influence immunity in other vertebrates. The brushtail possum and eastern grey kangaroo had the greatest BKA, while ringtail possums and koalas had the least. These differences were independent of social structure, captivity status and phylogeny, but were associated with diet and body size. Sex and disease status had no effect on BKA in koalas, however potential for differences between wild and captive koalas warrants further investigation. The current study has provided a foundation for future investigations into how adaptive and innate immunity interact in marsupials from an eco-evolutionary perspective.
This work was the first to report twelve natural estrogens (NEs) in the urines of six threatened or endangered mammalians in a Zoo Park of Guangzhou (i.e., panda, gorilla, elephant, African lion, jaguar, and leopard). Ten out of twelve NEs were detected at least in one urine sample of the six mammalians studied, including the four major NEs (i.e., estrone (E1), 17β-estradiol (E2), 17α-estradiol (αE2), estriol (E3)), and six other NEs (i.e., 4-hydroxyestrone (4OHE1), 2-hydroxyestradiol (2OHE2), 4-hydroxyestradiol (4OHE2), 16α-hydroxyestrone (16α-OHE1), 16ketoestradiol (16ketoE2), and 17epiestriol (17epiE3)). The six studied mammalians, ranked in the order of high to low urinary concentration of total NEs, were jaguar, African lion, gorilla, elephant, panda, and leopard, with respective urinary concentrations of 110.4, 86.4, 71.4, 66.0, 55.9, and 52.8 ng/mL. According to the average urinary concentration of NE in the six mammalians ranked from high to low, the top five NEs detected were 16α-OHE1, 4OHE1, E1, E3, and 17epiE3, respectively. These clearly indicated the occurrence of NEs other than the four major types in urines of animals in a Zoo Park. Moreover, the daily excretion rates of the five detected NEs by one elephant ranged from 1162–2254 μg/d with a total daily excretion rate of 8260 μg/d, suggesting that the total urinary excretion of NEs by one adult elephant was equivalent to that by 170 premenopausal women or 506 adult men. Consequently, it appears from this study that NEs in the urines of zoo animals should be considered an emerging source of NEs.
Seven genotypically distinct strains assigned to the genus Erysipelothrix were isolated in different laboratories from several animal sources. Strain D17_0559-3-2-1 T and three further strains were isolated from samples of duck, pig and goose. The strains had >99 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to each other and to strain VA92-K48 T and two further strains isolated from samples of medical leech and a turtle. The closest related type strains to the seven strains were those of Erysipelothrix inopinata (96.74 %) and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae (95.93 %). Average nucleotide identity, amino acid identity and in silico DNA–DNA hybridization results showed that the strains represented two separate novel species. One further phylogenetically distinct strain (165301687 T ) was isolated from fox urine. The strain had highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to the type strains of Erysipelothrix tonsillarum (95.67 %), followed by Erysipelothrix piscisicarius (95.58 %) and Erysipelothrix larvae (94.22 %) and represented a further novel species. Chemotaxonomic and physiological data of the novel strains were assessed, but failed to unequivocally differentiate the novel species from existing members of the genus. MALDI-TOF MS data proved the discrimination of at least strain 165301687 T from all currently described species. Based on the presented phylogenomic and physiological data, we propose three novel species, Erysipelothrix anatis sp. nov. with strain D17_0559-3-2-1 T (=DSM 111258 T = CIP 111884 T =CCM 9044 T ) as type strain, Erysipelothrix aquatica sp. nov. with strain VA92-K48 T (=DSM 106012 T =LMG 30351 T =CIP 111492 T ) as type strain and Erysipelothrix urinaevulpis sp. nov. with strain 165301687 T (=DSM 106013 T = LMG 30352 T = CIP 111494 T ) as type strain.
The recovery of the Baltic White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla population since the 1980s is a conservation success story. However, the re-establishment of this predator in coastal and lake areas appears to affect Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo during the breeding season. We collated published and unpublished records of White-tailed Eagle occurrence and interactions with Cormorant colonies as well as records of Cormorant anti-predator responses and effects on Cormorant breeding performance. We found evidence for immediate direct effects (mainly kleptoparasitism, predation of eggs and offspring) and indirect effects (facilitating nest predation by mainly gulls and corvids). Repeated disturbance from hunting White-tailed Eagles was also inferred to trigger changes in selection of nest sites, to cause complete abandonment of colonies and lead to regional redistributions of breeders. However, there are also observations of unproblematic coexistence with White-tailed Eagles breeding inside Cormorant colonies. There is some evidence to suggest that nesting opportunities for Cormorants may become further restricted as White-tailed Eagle numbers continue to increase, and we argue that this in some regions will impose limitations on the distribution and size of breeding populations of Cormorants.
Worldwide, wind turbines are increasingly being built at forest sites to meet the goals of national climate strategies. Yet, the impact on biodiversity is barely understood. Bats may be heavily affected by wind turbines in forests, because many species depend on forest ecosystems for roosting and hunting and can experience high fatality rates at wind turbines. We performed acoustic surveys in 24 temperate forests in the low mountain ranges of Central Germany to monitor changes in the acoustic activity of bats in relation to wind turbine proximity, rotor size, vegetation structure and season. Call sequences were identified and assigned to one of three functional guilds: open‐space, edge‐space and narrow‐space foragers, the latter being mainly forest specialists. Based on the response behaviour of bats towards wind turbines in open landscapes, we predicted decreasing bat activity towards wind turbines at forest sites, especially for narrow‐space foragers. Vertical vegetation heterogeneity had a strong positive effect on all bats, yet responses to wind turbines in forests varied across foraging guilds. Activity of narrow‐space foragers decreased towards turbines over distances of several hundred meters, especially towards turbines with large rotors and during midsummer months. The activity of edge‐space foragers did not change with distance to turbines or season, whereas the activity of open‐space foragers increased close to turbines in late summer. Synthesis and applications: Forest specialist bats avoid wind turbines in forests over distances of several hundred meters. This avoidance was most apparent towards turbines with large rotors. Since forests are an important habitat for these bats, we advise to exclude forests with diverse vegetation structure as potential wind turbine sites and to consider compensation measures to account for habitat degradation associated with the operation of wind turbines in forests.
Proclaimed in 1907, Etosha National Park in northern Namibia is an iconic dryland system with a rich history of wildlife conservation and research. A recent research symposium on wildlife conservation in the Greater Etosha Landscape (GEL) highlighted increased concern of how intensification of global change will affect wildlife conservation based on participant responses to a questionnaire. The GEL includes Etosha and surrounding areas, the latter divided by a veterinary fence into large, private farms to the south and communal areas of residential and farming land to the north. Here, we leverage our knowledge of this ecosystem to provide insight into the broader challenges facing wildlife conservation in this vulnerable dryland environment. We first look backward, summarizing the history of wildlife conservation and research trends in the GEL based on a literature review, providing a broad-scale understanding of the socioecological processes that drive dryland system dynamics. We then look forward, focusing on eight key areas of challenge and opportunity for this ecosystem: climate change, water availability and quality, vegetation and fire management, adaptability of wildlife populations, disease risk, human-wildlife conflict, wildlife crime, and human dimensions of wildlife conservation. Using this model system, we summarize key lessons and identify critical threats highlighting future research needs to support wildlife management. Research in the GEL has followed a trajectory seen elsewhere reflecting an increase in complexity and integration across biological scales over time. Yet, despite these trends, a gap exists between the scope of recent research efforts and the needs of wildlife conservation to adapt to climate and land-use changes. Given the complex nature of climate change, in addition to locally existing system stressors, a framework of forward-thinking adaptive management to address these challenges, supported by integrative and multidisciplinary research could be beneficial. One critical area for growth is to better integrate research and wildlife management across land-use types. Such efforts have the potential to support wildlife conservation efforts and human development goals, while building resilience against the impacts of climate change. While our conclusions reflect the specifics of the GEL ecosystem, they have direct relevance for other African dryland systems impacted by global change.
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143 members
Julia Schad
  • Department of Evolutionary Genetics
Sylvia Ortmann
  • Department of Evolutionary Ecology
Jennifer Schoen
  • Department of Reproduction Biology
Oliver Krone
  • Department of Wildlife Diseases
Gábor Árpád Czirják
  • Department of Wildlife Diseases
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Prof. Dr. Heribert Hofer
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