The activities of the department can be divided into two main specialisations: 1) Sustainable animal production and 2) Wildlife management and conservation
Our research and teaching activities within the field of Sustainable animal production are focused on the application of modern findings from animal husbandry in the tropics and subtropics. Our attention is mainly directed towards the breeding and utilisation of local livestock breeds and species, the feeding and nutrition of animals, animal hygiene, illness prevention and animal welfare.
Within the field of Wildlife management and conservation, our main focus is on the breeding, conservation and agricultural utility of indigenous species in the tropics. This research focuses on various aspects of habitat and species conservation management. A broad range of field surveys and studies are conducted, mostly in Africa, with special attention paid to antelope and giraffe conservation, the mitigation of human-wildlife and wildlife-livestock conflict, protected area management, and environmental education. Ex situ conservation and research realized in European zoos are also included.
Both specializations are connected via the research into population genetics, usually of mammalian species, and of interspecies interactions, including wildlife and their domestic forms. Behavioural studies and studies concerning the physiology and reproduction of domestic and wild animals also play an important role in our teaching activities and research.
Members of the Department have been involved in the Western Deby Eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) conservation programme in Senegal since 2000. Since 2006, the department has been farming the common eland (Taurotragus oryx) at the CZU Farm Estate in Lány, where the farming of guanacos (Llama guanicoe) has also been established.
The research activities of the Department are mostly carried out via research grants and student scientific project work with the goal of publishing these in scientific journals with an impact factor. The university laboratories, as well as our own Common eland and guanaco farm, are dedicated to this research. Other research is also carried out in the zoological gardens and private farms and also in natural reserves in Senegal, where a lot of the student’s research for their theses concerning Derby elands and other species, and on the topics of biodiversity conservation and education, were carried out in recent years. The Department runs the Laboratory of Biological Materials Analyses and the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics.
Department members are involved in following FTA research teams:
- Animal Physiology and Behaviour Research Team
- Mammalian Molecular Ecology Research Group
- Wildlife Management and Conservation Research Group
The history of the Department goes back to 1967, when it was first funded as the Department of Animal Production of the Tropics and Subtropics. In 2013, after the Faculty of Tropical Agriculture was established, the Department adopted its current name.