Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University of Zagreb (FVM)
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb is a public institution providing a professional education to undergraduate and postgraduate students in Croatia, as well as being a national leader in scientific research. Scientists from Biology Department led by Prof. Djuro Huber have been conducting research on large carnivores since 1981. Research on bears started in 1981 and studies on wolves and lynx started in 1996. Studies have been conducted on many aspects of large carnivore ecology and management including public attitudes to carnivores and to carnivore hunting. National management plans for all three Croatian large carnivores were completed and published in 2005.
The Carnivore team have implemented a number of international research and conservation projects including the EU LIFE projects “Improving Coexistence of Large Carnivores and Agriculture in Southern Europe” and “Conservation and Management of Wolves in Croatia”, the BBI Matra Programme “Obtaining and maintaining public acceptance of brown bear in Croatia”, the Interreg IIIA Neighbourhood Programme Slovenia-Hungary-Croatia 2004-2006 “Transboundary cooperation in management, conservation and research of the Dinaric lynx population”; and are currently working with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Partner 3) on ”Building capacity to meet challenges of multi-level democracy: the case of conserving species with transboundry populations”.
The FVM will contribute to all the Workpackages and will be the lead in-country partner in Croatia.
Djuro Huber is a University professor with 25 years of experience in large carnivore research and management. After graduation in veterinary medicine in 1975, he specialized in ecology (master’s degree) and in wildlife parasitology (PhD in 1979). In 1979/80 he was on a Fulbright grant in Wild Animal Disease Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Since 1981 he is conducting a brown bear study in Croatia, which in 1996 expanded to the "Study of large carnivores in Croatia" (includes bear, wolf and lynx). The main method or research is radio-telemetry, but many morphological, physiological, nutritional and genetic aspects are included.
Other projects he led included: National Geographic Society, International Bear Association, Euronatur, Bernd Thies Foundation, U.S. - Croatian science technology program, ALIS, Alertis, LIFE Wolf, LIFE COEX, GEF KEC. The methods include radio-telemetry tracking and genetics. So far Djuro Huber has published 94 scientific papers, 104 professional papers, and 127 abstracts of conference presentations. Professional and NGO activities include: Croatian Ecological Society, Croatian Biological Society, IUCN Species Survival Commission Bear Specialist Group (co-chair BSG for Europe), IUCN SSC Wolf Specialist Group, International Bear Association (Council member and past Vice-president), Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (Core Group member), Wildlife Disease Association. Djuro Huber is currently the professor of Biology at the Department of Biology at the Veterinary Faculty in Zagreb.
He is primarily teaching Zoology and Ecology.
Josip Kusak is a University Teaching Assistant with 14 years experience in large carnivore research and management with a special focus on wolves. He is a member of IBA and LCIE, and the IUCN Bear and Veterinary Specialist Groups.
Tomislav Gomerčić is a University Teaching Assistant with 5 years of experience in large carnivore and sea mammal research with a particular focus on genetic studies.
Magda Sindičić is PhD Student with 3 years of experience in large carnivore project management and implementation of large carnivore management plans.
Alen Slavica is Head of the Department of Game Biology, Pathology and Breeding and is engaged in projects titled “Wildlife health monitoring”, “Applied research of deer game”, “The effect of habitat on the growth and physical development of wild animals”, ”Dental pathology of wild mammals”, “Reintroduction of brown hare bred in captivity”, “Population dynamics of grey partridge in central part of Croatia” and the multilateral scientific program “Applied biomedical research of game species in Croatia”.
PhD student with 1,5 years of experience in large carnivore research and management with an emphasis on population dynamics of brown bear.
Vesna Kereži is a master student in the field of human dimensions of natural resources with 2 years of experience in human wildlife conflicts and public involvement processes.