The FVA-Wildlife Institute

The Wildlife Institute (WTI) of the Forest Research Institute Baden-Württemberg (FVA) is based in Freiburg and is headed by Dr. Rudi Suchant. As the state's research institution, the FVA is responsible for the forest and forestry in Baden-Württemberg. It takes on tasks that are important for society as a whole. Research, monitoring, further education and advising politics, administration and businesses make up the core of its work. The WTI is one of nine specialist departments of the FVA and with approx. 70-80 employees (temporary and permanent, student and scientific assistants and interns) deals with all forest-dwelling wildlife species covered by the Hunting and Wildlife Management Act (JWMG), including wolf and golden jackal. The focus is on improving wildlife management in practice, which is why numerous pilot projects are carried out and expert implementation support is offered. The institution has a broad methodological spectrum at its disposal and uses, among other things, telemetry, photo traps, audio data, attractants, participatory citizen research and increasingly qualitative and quantitative social science data collection methods.

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The Wildlife Research Centre

The Wildlife Research Centre of the State of Baden-Württemberg (WFS) is integrated into the Agricultural Centre for Cattle Husbandry, Grassland Management, Dairy Farming, Game and Fisheries Baden-Württemberg (LAZBW). The LAZBW is a public state institute in the portfolio of the Ministry of Food, Rural Areas and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg (MLR) with about 200 employees and 25 trainees with locations in Aulendorf, Wangen and Langenargen.

The WFS is based in Aulendorf under the management of Dr. Janosch Arnold and is represented in ForWild by Dr. Robert Hagen. The WFS focuses on applied wildlife biology research and wildlife management. A broad-based team (approx. 30 staff) of scientists from various disciplines and hunting practitioners is involved in this work.

The WFS focuses on open land habitats and their species. The fields of activity are based on several pillars: wildlife monitoring and the continuous recording of wildlife species and their habitats serve as a basis. Scientific knowledge is gained through wildlife research. In this way, wildlife management measures can be evaluated and implemented. This management process aims to balance the interests of humans and the needs of wildlife for a low-conflict coexistence. These fields of work are flanked by a target group-specific information and advisory service.

One focus of research is currently on wild boar, roe deer, red fox and brown hare. The focus is on space use and reproduction. Predator-prey interactions are investigated in the case of the red fox and brown hare and placed in the context of habitat structure. In addition to classical methods such as the use of photo traps, further research focuses on the development of new applied research approaches, such as bioacoustic monitoring of grey partridge, the use of drones for habitat assessment and the use of population-genetic methods to assess the status of target species such as chamois. A growing area of research deals with the consequences of climate change for open land habitats and the species living there.  The Wildlife Research Unit is responsible for keeping and evaluating hunting statistics and surveys in hunting grounds (hunting ground survey) in Baden-Württemberg.

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Based on the work of WFS and WTI, the state of Baden-Württemberg produces a wildlife report every three years with information on wildlife species, their populations and habitats, diseases and thus provides a summary of current wildlife research and monitoring. It serves as a central reference work on wildlife and hunting in Baden-Württemberg and is therefore aimed at a broad interested public.

The Research Institute of Forest Ecology and Forestry

The Research Institute of Forest Ecology and Forestry (FAWF) is a research institution of the State  Rhineland-Palatinate. Its work is guided by the mission statement of the State Forests to achieve the highest possible overall benefit of all effects and services of the forest for society. Based on the principle of sustainability, this applies both to today's society and to future generations. This guiding principle forms the framework for its projects. Founded in 1984, FAWF has been based in the historic castle in Trippstadt in the middle of the Palatinate Forest since 1985 and is represented in ForWild by Dr. Ulf Hohmann.

The environmental factors affecting forest ecosystems as well as the natural development processes are observed by FAWF over the long term. Due to the complex interrelationships, research is generally interdisciplinary and practice-oriented. The aim of wildlife ecology research is therefore to improve the understanding of the interactions of the large but mostly shy forest dwellers with their habitat for all people interested in the forest and its inhabitants, and to derive solutions for practical implementation.

To ensure an effective transfer of knowledge, the findings from monitoring and research are communicated to the various target groups in a variety of ways. Their target groups range from political decision-makers to forest managers, foresters, forest owners and the many stakeholders in the forest.

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The Chair of Wildlife Ecology and Wildlife Management

The Chair of Wildlife Ecology and Wildlife Management at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg (ALU) is headed by Prof. Dr. Ilse Storch, who represents the chair in ForWild together with Dr. Sebastian Schwegmann. Research focuses on the importance of spatial structure and human use of habitats for wildlife as well as the development of concepts for the integration of human land use interests and the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity. The chair combines approaches from field ecology, modelling and population genetics to investigate the relationships between habitats and the distribution, dynamics and behaviour of animal populations. The central concern of the research group is to contribute to the sustainable management of wildlife and their habitats through scientifically sound work.

Research areas:

  • Conservation Biology (species conservation and biodiversity research)
  • Wildlife-habitat relationships at local to landscape level
  • Human impact on wildlife
  • Urban Wildlife
  • Conservation genetics and molecular population ecology

In addition to the partners of ForWild, the Chair cooperates with numerous scientists and institutions worldwide. The professorship works particularly closely with colleagues at the Stelvio (PD Dr. Luca Corlatti) and Bavarian Forest (Prof. Dr. Marco Heurich) National Parks.

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The Rottenburg University of Applied Forest Sciences

The Rottenburg University of Applied Forest Sciences (HFR) is practice-oriented, innovative and oriented towards the principles of sustainability. It is characterised by its short distances and interdisciplinary connections. As the fifth partner institution, the chair for wildlife ecology and hunting management headed by Prof. Dr. Thorsten Beimgraben completes the cluster. At the chair, mainly application-related questions of hunting organisation are dealt with. The university has about 1.000 students and uses a forest area as a practical experimental and teaching area. Due to its consistent orientation of all study programmes towards the principle of sustainability, it is one of the universities in the country with the clearest educational profiles and research competences. At the same time, students are prepared for professional work through comprehensive academic education (key qualifications and professional competence). Five Bachelor's degree programmes and three Master's degree programmes are offered.

The university maintains intensive contacts with numerous partner universities in many countries in Europe and the world. These cooperations primarily serve the international exchange of students.

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