The research cluster Wildlife Ecology - ForWild is an association of several research institutions in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. It bundles the strong regional competences in wildlife research in order to develop basic principles for a well-founded, efficient and socially acceptable solution to current tasks and future challenges in the field of hunting and wildlife management.
Southwest Germany offers an attractive starting position for this task. The high density of expertise meets a good network with hunting and forestry practice as well as a strong legal basis for knowledge-based wildlife management in the Rhineland-Palatinate Hunting Act and the Hunting and Wildlife Management Act of Baden-Württemberg.
Cooperation between institutions in wildlife ecology research is strengthened through ForWild. The aim is to improve the quality of scientific work, to promote communication and cooperation in the field of knowledge acquisition and to develop innovative methods and techniques for wildlife management.
The ForWild network, which has been in existence since 2020, promotes scientific exchange between five equal research institutions in the southwest German region. The partner institutions currently include the Wildlife Research Centre (WFS) of the Baden-Württemberg Agricultural Centre (LAZBW), the Forest Ecology and Forestry Research Institute (FAWF) of the Rhineland-Palatinate State Forests, the Wildlife Institute (WTI) of the Forest Research Institute Baden-Württemberg (FVA), the Chair of Wildlife Ecology and Wildlife Management of the University of Freiburg and the Chair of Wildlife Ecology and Hunting Management of the Rottenburg University of Applied Forest Sciences (HFR).
Cooperation within the ForWild cluster includes not only the development of joint research projects and networking through data sharing, but also the support of young scientists. To strengthen this aspect, the young cluster plans to award an annual research prize for the first time in 2023. Another goal is to organise a scientific event where there is space for the presentation and discussion of current research on wildlife.
The development of projects with a cross-institutional character enables ForWild to methodically and scientifically comprehensively illuminate topic areas such as roe deer and game browsing, wildlife in settlement areas, habitat use and restructuring as well as the influence of humans and climate change on wildlife in order to form the basis for a joint interdisciplinary management plan.
One pillar of ForWild’s work is the annual announcement of a research award for young scientists. Interested researchers with promising ideas that fit well with ForWild's focus topics can apply for this. More information will follow shortly.