Hermann Hondong
Hermann Hondong (PhD)

Department of Conservation Biology
University of Goettingen
Bürgerstr. 50
D-37073 Göttingen
0049 (0)551 39 25635


"Nature Conservation Inventories" 3-week online-course (lectures and exercises in German language)
Online signup in Studip from 15.09.-21.10.2023, random selection of participants by Studip on 22.10.2023


„Nature Conservation Inventories“ 3-week online-course (lectures and exercises in German language)
Online signup in Studip from 15.02.-06.04.2024, random selection of participants by Studip on 07.04.2024

PhD Thesis

HONDONG, H. (2003): Inventuren als Informationsinstrumente der Naturschutzplanung. University of Goettingen


HONDONG, H., LANGNER, S. & COCH, TH. (1993): Untersuchungen zum Naturschutz an Waldrändern. Bristol-Schriftenreihe (2): 196 S.


HOFMANN, T., MARKER, L. & HONDONG, H. (2021): Detection success of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) scat by dog-human and human-only teams in a semi-arid savanna. – Namibian Journal of Environment 5 A: 1 – 11

SINGER, D., HONDONG, H.& DIETZ, M. 2021. Habitat use of Bechstein's Bat (Myotis bechsteini) and woodpeckers reveals the importance of old-growth features in European beech forests. - Forest Ecology and Management 498: 119547
doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119547


SCHMIDT, M., MEYER, P., MÖLDER, A. & HONDONG, H. (2016): Neu- oder Wiederausbreitung? Die Arealausweitung des Schwarzspechts in Nordwestdeutschland am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts und ihre Ursachen. forstarchiv 87: 135 - 151

HONDONG, H. (2016): Verbessert Nadelholzanbau in Laubwaldgebieten die Habitatqualität für den Schwarzspecht? forstarchiv 87: 152 - 161

Evidence based and adaptive management in conservation needs decision making based on valid, objective and reliable data. Inventories as systematic surveys on state and development of species and habitats have therefore a key function for qualified conservation and restoration programs and impact assessments.

In reality decision-relevant data for conservation are often not available, uncertain, not spatially explicit or not up-to-date. Therefore decision making happens usually under high risk and with uncertain effects and outcomes. Because of this there are good reasons to focus on the triangle of strategy building, inventories and decision making to improve the effectivity and efficiency of management in conservation.

During my work at the Northwest German Forest Research Institute (NW-FVA) from 2019 to 2021 we developed and tested an inventory design for monitoring of forest composition, forest structure and biodiversity of woodland under natural development of the Lower Saxony state owned forests.


Of more than 90 Million hectares of beech forests in Europe there are only 0,05 % undisturbed by deforestation, agriculture and forestry. The last ontouched remnants and small fragments of natural beech forests are found in the Carpathians and on the Balkan. Deforestation, grazing of domestic animals, shifting tree species composition to conifer rich stands, limiting tree and stand age to young and productive stages and changing wildlife by hunting caused heavy changes of compositon, structure and habitat quality on close to 100 % of beech forest area in Europe.

Decision making in conservation depends often on assessments of results from surveys and the top end of the scale should be derived from data out of low or not disturbed reference sites. Therefore it is important to study species compostion and habitat qualities in natural forests and to document the effects of human induced disturbances on these in a gradient of growing intensity from natural to highly commercial forests. My focus is on old growth dependent species and among this on forestry-sensitive vertebrates with high area requirement which can be used as target and umbrella species.


The use of detection dogs offers good opportunities to improve species surveys for research, inventories and monitoring. A lot of species conservation related questions can be answered in a more effective and more efficient way as well as with lower impact on individuals compared with other methods.

The use of detection dogs in conservation settings is more common and developed in the United States, Canada, New Zeeland and Australia and is still quite rare in Eurasia. Despite from the need of method-transfer to Europe there is a general demand for further development and optimization of suitable training and application procedures. Especially important is to analyze how general and environmental conditions coincide with the performance of detection dog based survey methods. Own detection dogs for conservation are trained since 2006. More about dectection dogs für species surveys and monitoring in research and management see CDK9s.