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Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Centre
for Cultivated Plants

Head
Dr. Ute Katharina Vogler

Address
Messeweg 11/12
38104 Braunschweig, Germany

Office
Ms Kerstin Hansmann and
Ms Margot Knur
Tel: +49(0)531 299-4401/-4402
Fax: +49(0)531 299-3009
E-mail: gf@  julius-kuehn.  de

Branch offices

in Münster
Toppheideweg 88
48161 Münster, Germany
Office: Ms Elvira Politz
Tel: +49(0)251 87106-10
Fax: +49(0)251 87106-33 

in Kleinmachnow
Stahnsdorfer Damm 81
14532 Kleinmachnow, Germany
Tel: +49(0)33203 48-0
Fax: +49(0)33203 48-425

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Institute booklet

Vertebrates

Rodents and birds are important components of agro-ecosystems, forests and urban areas. We study the ecology, distribution and functional relevance of vertebrates that matter in plant protection. On the one hand, vertebrates can cause considerable damage to crops such as common voles during outbreaks. On the other hand, the use of plant protection products can lead to risks for non-target vertebrates. We pursue both avoiding damage by vertebrates and protecting vertebrates from unwanted effects of plant protection products. We evaluate the effectiveness of plant protection agents designed to regulate vertebrate populations and the risk for non-target vertebrates (e.g. rodents, birds, amphibians) associated with the use of plant protection agents. We aim to develop economically and ecologically suitable management strategies that keep vertebrate pest populations at an acceptable level.

Sustainable protection and regulation of vertebrate populations

Measures to regulate vertebrate populations are necessary if they damage crops, stored goods like grain, buildings, cables etc. or if there is a risk for the health of humans or livestock because of the potential transmission of zoonotic pathogens. Damage can lead to massive loss of crops and stored goods in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, fruit and vegetable growing. Our aim is to mitigate damage under consideration of biological and ecological aspects as well as environmental concerns.

Our responsibility and motivation

We quest for ecologically safe and economically sensible management strategies that keep damage by vertebrates (e.g. mice, rats) at an acceptable level and minimize unwanted effects of plant protection products on non-target vertebrates (e.g. amphibians). We consider biological, mechanical and chemical measures and take into account environmental variation, for example climate and land use. We develop forecast models for the prediction of outbreaks of relevant rodents. We are involved in the assessment of the effectiveness of plant protection products and active agents in the authorization process. Our involvement in national and international committees is essential for scientific exchange.