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Austrian conservation price goes to Prof. Dr. Kurt Kotrschal!

The "Naturschutzbund" awarded Kurt Kotrschal with the Austrian conservation price on Thursday, 19 October 2017. He was honored for his achievements in reporting environmental scientific topics and his civil courage in conservation.



We are happy to announce a new PhD position at the Konrad Lorenz Research Station in Grünau im Almtal (Upper Austria):

  • Research field of animal behaviour
  • 3 years
  • 20 hours per week
  • Free accommodation at the KLF

Please find more information on our website and feel free to spread the announcement to colleagues and friends.

Thank you in advance!


Three projects (PI Didone Frigerio) started at the beginning of September 2017.

Visible Science

Which behavioural patterns modulate the reproductive success of long-term monogamous pair bonds (e.g. between ravens or greylag geese)? Which behavioural patterns differ between ravens and northern bald ibises, even though they show similar breeding strategies? The data collection via videos (provided on a platform) and an App will enable lay people to be actively involved in this project, which will mainly take place at the Cumberland wildpark in Grünau im Almtal
Forschen im Almtal
Link to the project

GRASS Greylag geese as a model for animal social systems:

We investigate the modulation of circannual behavioural and foraging patterns by social factors. Pupils will participate in this project by joining the survey of the time-space pattern of the greylag geese and by acting as multipliers for the further focus on Citizen Science.
Link to the project:

 NBI goes Citizen Science:

Do northern bald ibises select their foraging grounds according to habitat quality or rather because of traditions? Interested lay people are invited to participate in this project and collect data via an App on the whereabouts of our individually marked ibis colony.
App: WaldrApp

Link to the project:

The apps are already online and downloadable from Google Play Store (Android) or from iTunes Store (Apple). You can also enter the collected data on the following website.

You are welcome to join the projects and help with data collection. All data collected from lay people will be used, analysed and published in peer-reviewed journals. More information on the projects and apps will soon be provided on our homepage.


We welcome our new colleagues & students!

Georgine Szipl (University of Vienna) is our new Post-doc within the Project GRASS Greylag geese as a model for animal social systemes.

Christiane Steinbacher (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences) started her master project working on the social integration of juvenile ravens into a non-breeding group.

Katrin Herzhauser (University of Colonge) will complete her bachelor thesis on social development in ravens.

Michaela Syrová and Jana Nácarová (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic) are joining us again to investigate the reaction of ravens to heterospecific alarm calls.

Katharina Buchegger will join us for 9 months to do her voluntary environmental year.

Tanja Czerny is joining us for 3 months as a scientific project assistant within the project: NBI goes Citizen Science Involving young and old citizen scientists in monitoring habitat use of the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita).


From the 5th to the 8th October 2017 the fourth Biologicum Almtal took place in Grünau im Almtal. Kurt Kotrschal, Redouan Bshary, Karin Luger, Friedrich Schneider, Jorg Massen, Monika Betzler and Martin Kocher talked about the principle of cooperation from biological, economical and philosophical perspectives. We had an amazing few days with inspiring discussions.


A French film team visited the Konrad Lorenz Research Station from the 29th to the 30th September 2017. They are making a documentary on the research from our colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön (Germany about the migration routes of blackcaps (equipped with geo-locators). In addition, Josef Hemetsberger was interviewed on the non-migratory behaviour of our greylag geese flock.

!!! Northern Bald Ibis WANTED !!!

Part of the free-flying colony of the Konrad Lorenz Research Station in Grünau im Almtal (Austria) started to explore the world. We already received sightings from Lower Austria, Carinthia, Czech Republic, Poland,

Have you also sighted some of our juvenile northern bald ibises (they still have grey feathers on their heads)? If YES, the following information would be important for us:
- Where are the northern bald ibises?
- How many are there?
- Are you able to identify the coloured leg rings using a binocular?

If you have sightings, please contact us:
Konrad Lorenz Forschungsstelle
Fischerau 11
A-4645 Gr
ünau im Almtal
Tel.: +43 7616 8510
Email: office.klf@univie.ac.at

Thank you very much in advance for your support!


In October 2017, our northern bald ibis exhibition started at the centre of the national park Kalkalpen in Molln (first floor, in front of the library), which will run for one year. Information on the critically endangered bird, our projects and findings are provided. You are welcome to visit it.

We welcome our new colleagues!

Felix Gerzer, Magdalena Gramer, Daniel Herndl and Paul Simmer are completing a 4 weeks internship for pupils at the KLF. This is possible thanks to the programme "Talente Praktika" by the Austrian Research promotion Agency (FFG).

You can find more information here.

Eva-Maria Körmer, BSc from Vienna (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences) will help us until the end of September as a Field Assistant.

KinderUniAlmtal: Almtal Children University

From 10th to 12th of July, the fourth KinderUniAlmtal took place. Again, it was a great success. 132 children from all over Austria participated. They could choose out of 5 three-day long courses and nine single workshops. 43 lecturers from all over Austria (e.g. Technical University Vienna, University of Vienna, University of Innsbruck, University of Salzburg and experts of the region) taught the "students" interesting aspects from their field of expertise.

Approximately 60 kids visited the Konrad Lorenz Research Station and found out exciting facts about flying strategies among animals and social behavior of greylag geese. Furthermore, they practiced modern research by monitoring Northern bald ibises and common ravens.

You can find more information and pictures here.

ORF Upper Austria reported about our greylag geese!

The article from 23th July reports about the research of Claudia Wascher and her team, who were able to show that the pairbond in graylag geese has positive effects of the individuals, and that mate separation causes stress.

You can find the article here.

Here is the link to the paper.

Fledging ravens and northern bald ibis chicks

A couple of months ago there were just eggs in the nests of the northern bald ibises and the ravens. Now their chicks can fly. Before they fledged, all of them were marked with coloured rings or wing tags and measured. The goslings will fly soon too.

Visitors at the KLF

During the past few weeks we were happy to welcome important visitors at the KLF:

Field work

The KLF is an excellent place for biological field work. Students of the University of Vienna accomplished here a part of a lecture about methods of field working and collaborators of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön (Germany) visited us in order to catch blackcaps and equipped them with geo-locators.

What is Citizen Science?

Scientists from different Vienna Universities give their answers to this question and their opinion about challenges, additional benefits and future of citizen science in Austria. Here is the link to the videos promoted by the Knowledge Transfer Center. The videos are in German.

WANTED: Internship candidate

We are searching for a volunteer, who might be interested in assisting with field work for the duration of three months beginning with June. Please contact Josef Hemetsberger for any further matter. Opens window for sending email

Offspring at the KLF

The northern bald ibis chick from Othello and Aleppo was our very first hatchling; some days later the first raven chick from Paul and Luise hatched, and since last week als the first goslings are on their way.

Citizen Science Project

From April to June a Citizen Science Project is running with our greylag geese in the Cumberland game park. The visitors will have the possibility to observe the spatial and daily patterns of the greylag goose families. Also 8 school classes from Grünau and Scharnstein are joining this project.

More information can be found here


New paper out

Our new paper Effects of mate separation in female and social isolation in male free-living Greylag geese on behavioural and physiological measures is online. Here is the link to the paper.

Congratulations to Georgine Szipl!

Georgine successfully defended her PhD in Vienna. Her research was about social relationships and acoustic communication in free-ranging common ravens.

More information can be found here.

Her publications:

With whom to dine? Ravens' responses to food-associated calls depend on individual characteristics of the caller

Craving ravens: individual 'haa' call rates at feeding sites as cues to personality and levels of fission-fusion dynamics?

New paper out: Fission-fusion dynamics over large distances in raven non-breeders

The group dynamic of non-breeding ravens was analysed in the frame of an international scientific cooperation. More than 300 marked ravens were regularly observed at specific foraging places in Austria and Italy and some of them were additionally monitored with GPS. Results show that some of the ravens tend to stay in the same place, whereas some others move around over thousands of kilometres. However, they often meet each other and keep in contact with each other. Therefore the result is a highly dynamic system.

link to the paper

a website mentoring the paper


      (c) Matthias Loretto

Breeding season has startet!

At the moment it is silent at the KLF, because only some birds are here. This is because most of the greylag geese and northern bald ibises are building their nest or already breeding. The first chicks will hatch in April.

New students

We welcome our new students!

Lara Laiza form the University of Udine (Italy) is working with greylag geese, Teresa Schaer and Mario Gallego Abenza started their research project with ravens. Lovre Culina from the University of Zagreb (Croatia) is as an Erasmus student working with captive ravens at the KLF and at Haidlhof.

Knowledge transfer

Even on cold winter days it is possible to successfully work on knowledge transfer with interested children! At the end of January a small group of gifted children (Verein Talente OÖ) were involved in getting to know the animals and the work of the KLF. Additionally, they also spend a whole day here collecting and analysing their own data as real biologists and interviewing experienced researchers like Prof. Kotrschal and Prof. Bugnyar.

On February, 3rd a "Waldrappaktionstag" was promoted by our partner the Nationalpark Kalkalpen in the primary school in Ternberg. Approximately 60 pupils aged between 8 and 10 participated to different and funny activities about the Northern Bald Ibis and the work of the KLF.

Visit from the Wolf Science Center

We were happy to welcome many colleagues of the Wolf Science Center visiting the Almtal and the KLF.

Pictures Copyright Rooobert Bayer

New Paper online

Social (paired/unpaired) an environmental (temperature, season) factors modulate leucocyte profiles in free-living Greylag geese. The results and the whole paper can be found here.

New building for the KLF

The research centre gets a new home. It will be built next to the Cumberland game park. Start of work will be in spring 2017, completion of the builing in 2018.

 AniMove course

Our colleague Verena Pühringer Sturmayr participated in an AniMove course in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). There she leart basic techniques how to analyse animal relocation data.

Symposium on the PH Tirol about Visible Didactis

In cooperation with the PH upper Austria we organised a workshop at the symposium on the PH Tirol. The topic of the workshop was the benefits for the pupils from our sparkling science projekct

The pupils from Mühldorf are the Sparkling Science-Slam-Champions 2016

The children of the primary school in Mühldorf (OÖ) were successfully participating in the Sparkling Science Slam by presenting their project Social cohesion and flying behaviour in Northern bald ibis. With their entertaining and understandable presentation they convinced jury and audience and won the finale in Vienna. Congratulations!

Their presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFlcgCx20qA&feature

NBI- action day in the primary school of Molln

On November 18th 2016 a Northern bald ibis action day was hold in the primary school in Molln in cooperation with the National Park Kalkalpen. Our NBI often fly to Molln in Summer. On this day the pupils learnt more about this exotic looking visitor and the work of the KLF.

New project granted!

We congratulate Prof. Thomas Bugnyar for his new project Social dynamic and cognition in free living ravens. The project is supported by the FWF.

New students

We welcome our new students!

Tereza Dràbkovà and Kateriná Bìlà from the University of South Bohemia (CZ) and Jakob Gübel from the University of Konstanz (Germany) are working with the ravens.


On October, 20th the new exhibition about the Northern bald ibis will be inaugurate in the Cumberland Game Park. The exhibition provides insights in the recent research on this endangered bird species and presents the results of the cooperation with several schools of the region. It will be open until Spring 2017.

New Students

We welcome our new students!

Jana Beránková and Michaela Syrová from the University of South Bohemia (CZ) and Javier Sierro from Spain are working with the ravens. Tanja Czerny from the University of Vienna started her Masterproject on the Northern bald ibis.

Sparkling Science Slam

The children of the primary school in Scharnstein were successfully participating in the Sparkling Science Slam by presenting their project Social cohesion and flying behaviour in Northern bald ibis. We congratulate them and wish them a good success at the finale in Vienna on November, 14th.


Biologicum Almtal

From the 6th October to the 9th October the Biologicum Almtal took place for the third time. It was again a great success. Several Austrian scientists from different disciplines engaged on the topic “Feeding and being fed- from competition for food to cooperation.


New Book out!

We congratulate Prof. Kurt Kotrschal for his new book about the close relationship between dogs and humans.

Nature experience day

On august 28th the nature experience day took place in the wild life park for the ninth tine. At many stations could children research and learn something new about animals and plants.

Visitors from Italy

From August the 2nd to 3rd, seven students and Dr. Filacorda from the University of Udine visited us. We were very happy about the reciprocal knowledge and experience exchange and look forward to a future cooperation.


Congratulations for the graduation!

"Knowledge and experience are treasures, which follow their owners wherever they go."
- from China

    • Matthias-Claudio Loretto: Dissertation
    • "Movement ecology of wild non-breeding ravens"
       University of Vienna
    • Ingrid Wolfsgruber: apprenticeship as animal keeper
    • Claudia Bär: voluntary environment year

    KinderUniAlmtal (Almtal Children University):

    From July, 20th to 22nd , the third KinderUniAlmtal took place, which was again a great success. 145 children from all over Austria (even from Vienna and Graz) participated to it. They could choose among 5 three-day long courses and nine single workshops. 42 lecturers from all over Austria (e.g. Boku Vienna, University of Vienna, FH Hagenberg and experts of the region) taught the “students” interesting aspects of their area of expertise.

    Approximately 80 kids visited the Konrad Lorenz Research Station and found out exciting facts about flying strategies among animals and social behaviour of greylag geese. Furthermore, they practised modern research by monitoring Northern bald ibises and common ravens.

    You can find more information and pictures Opens external link in new windowhere and Opens external link in new windowhere.



    ECBB 2016 in Vienna – Symposium about Citizen Science

    From July, 12th to 15th, the 8. European Conference on Behavioural Biology took place in Vienna, organised by Prof. Thomas Bugnyar and his collaborators. Our collaborator Didone Frigerio was involved in organising a symposium about the emerging field of Citizen Science. This was financially supported by the Vienna Business Agency and found an echo on the blog of the University of Vienna.

    You can find more information Opens external link in new windowhere.

    Bird ringing programme IMS (Integrated Monitoring of Songbird Populations)

    In this standardised bird-ringing programme, song birds are caught three times a month from May to August six hours a day after sunrise by using mist nets. Data about breeding bird population, age, weight, body measurements and sex are collected. The birds get ringed and immediately afterwards they are set free again.


    Young Talents – Internship for pupils:

    From July, 11th to August, 5th, two high school pupils, Francesca Hemetsberger and Alina Lichtenberg, successfully completed a four weeks internship for pupils at the KLF. Among other activities, they designed posters, recorded the geese’s presence, helped with the ringing of the young birds and collaborate within the KinderUniAlmtal. Their Internship was possible thanks to the programme “Talente Praktika” by the Austrian Research promotion Agency (FFG).

    You can find more information Opens external link in new windowhere.

    Art for the KLF

    The Upper Austrian artist Kurt Steinberg hands some of his paintings over to the Director of the KLF, Prof. Kurt Kotrschal.

    Springtime at the KLF

    The first bald-ibis-nestlings and goslings have hatched! Along with that, our ravens are also raising their chicks.

    New Students

    We welcome our two long-term internship students: Julien Bourdiol from the Université de Bourgogne and Bertrand Laloux from the Université Catholique de Louvain. They are going to investigate the behaviour of the wild ravens.

    Friederike Böhm, from the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald will complete her Masterthesis with the corvids.

    Biologicum Almtal

    In cooperation with the KLF the third "Biologicum Almtal" takes place from 6th to 9th October 2016 in Grünau im Almtal.

    Please find more information here (Website only in German!)




Konrad Lorenz Forschungsstelle
Fischerau 11
4645 Grünau

T: +43 7616 8510
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0