Wildlife Ecology

A large part of the section’s work relates to birds and mammals, however, the work includes zoological population biology in general. Birds and mammals are generally able to move long, which is challenging when it comes to managing the species. Our task is to investigate and provide consultancy on species’ population dynamics and behavior in general and when interacting with people and the society. Therefore, we study the spatial and seasonal movements of mammals and we study the migratory paths e.g. of waterfowl. We also study how  hunting and hunting regulations, changing agricultural practices, land use and climate change, recreational activities (e.g. running, cycling, sailing and hunting), and major technical facilities (e.g. roads, bridges and windmills) affect the living conditions of the populations, and we also study how different species affect each other, e.g. by means of predation.

Classical methods and advanced technology

We use classical biological methods as well as new advanced technology. Counting birds and mammals is done using binoculars, capture/recapture and by collecting dead individuals, and we use video cameras, satellite (GPS) and bird censuses based on advanced image processing. We also work with individual-based modelling (ALMaSS) and gene technology. Recognizing that management is inherently a societal discipline, we are investigating how research on nature and impact evaluation can be integrated into concrete, adaptive management plans.

Science based support to authorities and education

The research in the section of Wildlife Ecology forms the basis for preparing management plans and other science based consultancy to the authorities. The section is responsible for preparing the Danish statistics on hunting yield, wing analyses and monitoring stocks of e.g. ducks and geese. This represents a substantial part of the national monitoring of birds and mammals in Denmark. The section is involved in environmental impact assessments for ministries and private parties and we contribute to teaching and developing talent with the aim of educating master students and PhDs with the necessary expertise in nature and wild-life management. 

If you would like to know more

Results from the section’s research, monitoring and consultancy are disseminated through scientific journals, reports, notes and, more popularly, in hunting magazines and Wildlife information. Most reports and notes can be downloaded free of charge using this link. In addition, you can keep up to date on news items from e.g. the Department of Bioscience by signing up for a free subscription to the electronic newsletter from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy.


Aksel Bo Madsen

Senior Researcher
H bldg. 8411, H.102
P +4587158863
P +4521663170


Wildlife ecology
Aarhus Universitet
Institut for Bioscience
Grenåvej 14
8410 Rønde