Heribert Hofer

Heribert Hofer
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research · Department of Ecological Dynamics

DPhil

About

283
Publications
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Publications

Publications (283)
Article
Full-text available
As a textbook case for the importance of genetics in conservation, absence of genetic variability at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is thought to endanger species viability, since it is considered crucial for pathogen resistance. An alternative view of the immune system inspired by life history theory posits that a strong response shoul...
Article
Full-text available
The recent recolonisation of the Central European lowland (CEL) by the grey wolf (Canis lupus) provides an excellent opportunity to study the effect of founder events on endoparasite diversity. Which role do prey and predator populations play in the re-establishment of endoparasite life cycles? Which intrinsic and extrinsic factors control individu...
Article
Was the 1993/1994 fatal canine distemper virus (CDV) epidemic in lions and spotted hyaenas in the Serengeti ecosystem caused by the recent spillover of a virulent domestic dog strain or one well adapted to these noncanids? We examine this question using sequence data from 13 ‘Serengeti’ strains including five complete genomes obtained between 1993...
Article
Income breeders which forage without their offspring in attendance should adjust nursing frequency and the quantity and composition of milk to prevailing ecological conditions, and increase the quantity or quality of milk transferred if the frequency of nursing visits declines. When milk delivery to a litter is insufficient, sibling competition sho...
Article
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In semi-arid environments, ‘permanent’ rivers are essential sources of surface water for wildlife during ‘dry’ seasons when rainfall is limited or absent, particularly for species whose resilience to water scarcity is low. The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) requires submersion in water to aid thermoregulation and prevent skin damage by solar...
Article
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Extensive bushmeat hunting is a major threat to wildlife conservation worldwide, particularly when unselective methods such as wire snares kill target and non‐target species (by‐catch). Animals that escape from snares have injuries of varying severity, with effects on performance that are largely unknown, as most studies typically focus on immediat...
Article
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Infanticide by adult females includes any substantial contribution to the demise of young and inevitably imposes fitness costs on the victim’s genetic fathers, thereby generating sexual conflict with them. Few if any studies have quantified the impact of infanticide by females on male reproductive success, the magnitude of sexual conflict this caus...
Article
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Little is known about potential cascading effects of climate change on the ability of predators to exploit mobile aggregations of prey with a spatiotemporal distribution largely determined by climatic conditions. If predators employ central-place foraging when rearing offspring, the ability of parents to locate sufficient prey could be reduced by c...
Article
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Based on the recent international studbook, we here investigate the history and development of the global captive population of the Endangered lion-tailed macaque. Of particular interest is whether the development and management of the population has contributed to its persistence as a reserve population for the conservation of the species. Of the...
Article
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Previous molecular studies of the wide-ranging Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx focused mainly on its northern Palearctic populations, with the consequence that the reconstruction of this species’ evolutionary history did not include genetic variation present in its southern Palearctic distribution. We sampled a previously not considered Asian subspecies (L...
Preprint
Full-text available
Phylogenetic and phylogeographic assessments of species should ideally include individuals of all known populations. However, this is difficult for species with large distribution areas. Previous molecular studies of the wide-ranging Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx focused mainly on its northern Palearctic populations, with the consequence that the reconst...
Article
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Knowledge regarding the spatial behavior of the Eurasian lynx is mainly inferred from populations in Europe. We used GPS telemetry to record the spatial behavior of nine individuals in northwestern Anatolia obtaining eleven home ranges (HRs). Analyses revealed the smallest mean HR sizes (n HR♀ = 4) at 57 km 2 (95% kernel utilization distribution ,...
Article
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Background Improved knowledge on vector-borne pathogens in wildlife will help determine their effect on host species at the population and individual level and whether these are affected by anthropogenic factors such as global climate change and landscape changes. Here, samples from brown hyenas ( Parahyaena brunnea ) from Namibia (BHNA) and spotte...
Article
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Social networks are considered to be ‘highly modular’ when individuals within one module are more connected to each other than they are to individuals in other modules. It is currently unclear how highly modular social networks influence the persistence of contagious pathogens that generate lifelong immunity in their hosts when between‐group intera...
Article
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Host immune defenses are important components of host-parasite interactions that affect the outcome of infection and may have fitness consequences for hosts when increased allocation of resources to immune responses undermines other essential life processes. Research on host-parasite interactions in large free-ranging wild mammals is currently hamp...
Article
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The Alphacoronavirus‐1 species include viruses that infect numerous mammalian species. To better understand the wide host range of these viruses, better knowledge on the molecular determinants of virus‐host cell entry mechanisms in wildlife hosts is essential. We investigated Alphacoronavirus‐1 infection in carnivores using long‐term data on Sereng...
Article
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Current tracking technology such as GPS data loggers allows biologists to remotely collect large amounts of movement data for a large variety of species. Extending, and often replacing interpretation based on observation, the analysis of the collected data supports research on animal behaviour, on impact factors such as climate change and human int...
Article
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1. In many animal societies, dominant males have a higher reproductive success than subordinate males. The proximate mechanisms by which social rank influences reproductive success are poorly understood. One prominent hypothesis posits that rank‐related male attributes of attractiveness and fighting ability are the main mediators of reproductive sk...
Article
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We use the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), a mammal with limited mobility, as a model species to study whether the structural matrix of the urban environment has an influence on population genetic structure of such species in the city of Berlin (Germany). Using ten established microsatellite loci we genotyped 143 hedgehogs from numerous si...
Article
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The cheetah is a prominent example for human–carnivore conflicts and mitigation challenges. Its global population suffered a substantial decline throughout its range. Here, we present an in-depth and new understanding of the socio-spatial organization of the cheetah. We show that cheetahs maintain a network of communication hubs distributed in a re...
Article
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Anthropogenic activities can result in both transient and permanent changes in the environment. We studied spatial and temporal behavioural responses of European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) to a transient (open-air music festival) and a permanent (highly fragmented area) disturbance in the city of Berlin, Germany. Activity, foraging and movemen...
Article
Background and aims: Small-molecule flux in tissue microdomains is essential for organ function, but knowledge of this process is scant due to the lack of suitable methods. We developed two independent techniques that allow the quantification of advection (flow) and diffusion in individual bile canaliculi and in interlobular bile ducts of intact l...
Article
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A key purpose of the management of captive populations of birds and mammals is their long-term viability (sustainability). This paper considers why many captive populations of birds and mammals face serious challenges and links their lack of sustainability directly to the management and diagnosis of breeding problems. Two well-known population mana...
Article
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Organismal movement is ubiquitous and facilitates important ecological mechanisms that drive community and meta-community composition and hence biodiversity. In most existing ecological theories and models in biodiversity research, movement is represented simplistically, ignoring the behavioural basis of movement and consequently the variation in b...
Preprint
Full-text available
In social species where offspring are reared together in communal burrows or similar structures, young animals typically do not engage in between-group contact during their development, a behavioural trait we call offspring with restricted between-group contact (ORC). The impact of this trait on the persistence of contagious pathogens that generate...
Article
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Urbanization affects key aspects of wildlife ecology. Dispersal in urban wildlife species may be impacted by geographical barriers but also by a species’ inherent behavioural variability. There are no functional connectivity analyses using continuous individual‐based sampling across an urban‐rural continuum that would allow a thorough assessment of...
Preprint
Small-molecule flux in tissue-microdomains is essential for organ function, but knowledge of this process is scant due to the lack of suitable methods. We developed two independent techniques that allow the quantification of advection (flow) and diffusion in individual bile canaliculi and in interlobular bile ducts of intact livers in living mice,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Organismal movement is ubiquitous and facilitates important ecological mechanisms that drive community and metacommunity composition and hence biodiversity. In most existing ecological theories and models in biodiversity research, movement is represented simplistically, ignoring the behavioural basis of movement and consequently the variation in be...
Conference Paper
Recent advances in tracking technology allow biologists to collect large amounts of movement data for a variety of species. Analysis of the collected data supports research on animal behaviour, influence of impact factors such as climate change and human intervention, as well as conservation programs. Analysis of the movement data is difficult, due...
Article
Full-text available
Large bioacoustic archives of wild animals are an important source to identify reappearing communication patterns, which can then be related to recurring behavioral patterns to advance the current understanding of intra-specific communication of non-human animals. A main challenge remains that most large-scale bioacoustic archives contain only a sm...
Article
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Abstract There are substantial individual differences in parasite composition and infection load in wildlife populations. Few studies have investigated the factors shaping this heterogeneity in large wild mammals or the impact of parasite infections on Darwinian fitness, particularly in juveniles. A host's parasite composition and infection load ca...
Article
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The Caucasian lynx, Lynx lynx dinniki, has one of the southernmost distributions in the Eurasian lynx range, covering Anatolian Turkey, the Caucasus and Iran. Little is known about the biology and the genetic status of this subspecies. To collect baseline genetic, ecological and behavioural data and benefit future conservation of L. l. dinniki, we...
Data
Lynx individuals monitored in between 2009 and 2017. Camera trapping (CT), Genotyping (G), GPS telemetry (T). Bold values indicate total amount of genotypes obtained using 11 and 8 microsatellite loci. (XLSX)
Data
Female 4 (daughter of female 1) is checking an inactive trap with her two kittens. One of the kittens in the video is Female 5, which was captured and collared next trapping season (14 months later) in the same trap. (AVI)
Data
Results of spatial autocorrelation analysis for all lynx individuals genotyped at 11 microsatellite loci. (PDF)
Data
Eighteen lynx genotyped at fourteen autosomal and two sexing loci (F-Amel and Z-Zf). Data used to estimate genetic diversity measures and pairwise-relatedness among genotypes of northwestern Anatolian lynx population (Tables 2 and 3 and Figs 2, 4 and 5, and S1). Orange color indicates the three microsatellite loci that were removed, and grey the tw...
Data
Female 1 trapped with 11 months old male kitten. Father of this male kitten was also captured in the same trap at another occasion. (PNG)
Article
Rapid, cost‐effective, efficient and reliable helminth species identification is of considerable importance to understand host‐parasite interactions, clinical disease and drug resistance. Cyathostomins (Nematoda: Strongylidae) are considered to be the most important equine parasites, yet research on this group has been hampered by the large number...
Article
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Assessing spatiotemporal interactions between species is of fundamental interest to behavioural and community ecology. Observer‐independent methods such as camera trapping facilitate the study of interactions, but analyses are hampered by the lack of comparative assessment of available approaches. We present a flexible and expandable framework to s...
Article
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Bio‐logging is an essential tool for the investigation of behavior, ecology, and physiology of wildlife. This burgeoning field enables the improvement of population monitoring and conservation efforts, particularly for small, elusive animals where data collection is difficult. Device attachment usually requires species‐specific solutions to ensure...
Article
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Toxoplasma gondii is an ubiquitous intracellular protozoan parasite. Mammals and birds are intermediate hosts and felid species are definitive hosts. In most human altered habitats the domestic cat is the predominant definitive host. Current knowledge of T. gondii infection in African ecosystems is limited. This study aimed to assess exposure to T....
Article
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Predicting the impact of disease epidemics on wildlife populations is one of the twenty-first century’s main conservation challenges. The long-term demographic responses of wildlife populations to epidemics and the life history and social traits modulating these responses are generally unknown, particularly for K-selected social species. Here we de...
Data
Case study of Serengeti spotted hyenas infected with canine distemper virus.
Article
Full-text available
Estimating eco-epidemiological parameters in free-ranging populations can be challenging. As known individuals may be undetected during a field session, or their health status uncertain, the collected data are typically “imperfect”. Multi-event capture-mark-recapture (MECMR) models constitute a substantial methodological advance by accounting for s...
Article
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Intra-specific variation in key traits of widespread species can be hard to predict, if populations have been very little studied in most of the distribution range. Asian populations of the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), one of the most widespread felids worldwide, are such a case in point. We investigated the diet of Eurasian lynx from faeces collecte...
Article
Full-text available
In mammals, male spatial tactics and sociality can be predicted from the size, degree of overlap and ease of defense of female individual or group home ranges (HRs). An exception is apparently the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) for which studies from East Africa describe a socio-spatial organization where resident males defend small territories, which...
Article
en Despite its wide distribution in continental Africa, the serval (Leptailurus serval Schreber) has received relatively little scientific attention so far. We did camera‐trapping in the forest–savannah mosaic of the Odzala‐Kokoua National Park, Republic of Congo. The park's savannahs represent the northernmost extension of the savannahs of the Bat...
Article
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Citizen science is growing as a field of research with contributions from diverse disciplines, promoting innovation in science, society, and policy. Inter- and transdisciplinary discussions and critical analyses are needed to use the current momentum to evaluate, demonstrate, and build on the advances that have been made in the past few years. This...
Article
Full-text available
The recent recolonization of Central Europe by the European gray wolf (Canis lupus) provides an opportunity to study the dynamics of parasite transmission for cases when a definitive host returns after a phase of local extinction. We investigated whether a newly established wolf population increased the prevalence of those parasites in ungulate int...
Article
Full-text available
In urban areas with a high level of human disturbance, wildlife has to adjust its behavior to deal with the so called "landscape of fear." This can be studied in risk perception during movement in relation to specific habitat types, whereby individuals trade-off between foraging and disturbance. Due to its high behavioral plasticity and increasing...
Data
Distribution of grey wolves in Germany and hunting dog sampling sites. First wolf packs recolonized the region Lusatia along the federal state borders of Brandenburg (BB) and Saxony (SN) in the year 2000, from where wolves expanded their range into northwesterly direction. Until today, no resident wolves have been recognized in the federal state of...
Article
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Understanding how closely related wildlife species and their domesticated counterparts exchange or share parasites, or replace each other in parasite life cycles, is of great interest to veterinary and human public health, and wildlife ecology. Grey wolves (Canis lupus) host and spread endoparasites that can either directly infect canid conspecific...
Article
Full-text available
In mammals, two factors likely to affect the diversity and composition of intestinal bacteria (bacterial microbiome) and eukaryotes (eukaryome) are social status and age. In species in which social status determines access to resources, socially dominant animals maintain better immune processes and health status than subordinates. As high species d...
Article
Parasite infections are diverse, complex and widespread, and they represent major health threats to people and animals alike. Topics such as vaccine development, drug resistance, immune regulation, vector-borne parasitic diseases, and wildlife parasitology are key issues. Here, we discuss the need and direction of structured educational programs fo...