Inter-Research Science Center has, since 1989, conducted research on the ecology of local endangered species.
The aims of IR research are to give back to nature an area of wet grassland in Oldendorf/Luhe (Germany) that had suffered a near-lethal blow from human impacts over decades, to re-introduce locally extinct life forms, and to support endangered ones.
The dimensions of IR research are modest. Our "Ökologisches Versuchsgebiet" or "Inter-Research Land" occupies a total area of 8.2 hectare. The staff, who do all the field and laboratory work, consists of 3 individuals working part time on the project: Otto Kinne (IR President), and Darek Dziwisch and Ralf Pohland (IR gardeners).
For research on amphibians we have built a variety of pools, ponds and ditches serving as reproduction areas, and provided summer and over-wintering habitats. We have also constructed 2 small field laboratories.
Our efforts have resulted in the successful re-introduction and build-up of a small, viable field population of the fire-bellied toad Bombina bombina (2004: total population strength estimated at 80 individuals). We continue to breed the toad and to release juveniles into IR Land, thus supporting the natural reproductive capacity of the field population (Kinne et al 2004).
Further, we have re-introduced and built up a population of the warty newt Triturus cristatus. The total field population has already attained a quasi-natural age structure; for 2004 we estimated total individual numbers of more than 500. We continue breeding and make yearly additions to the field population by setting out larvae and/or juveniles. The 2004 population of the smooth newt Triturus vulgaris, re-introduced by us, is already self supporting and no longer needs our assistance (present population strength: about 1900 individuals, Kinne 2004).
The first results of IR research were published in 2003 under Inter-Research Reports. They were republished in 2004 in the newly established IR journal Endangered Species Research (ESR).