Arctic migratory birds project wins Netherlands Polar Programme funding

© Henggan Cui

Arctic migratory birds project wins Netherlands Polar Programme funding


The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded funding to four projects in the Netherlands Polar Programme. The winning applications include 'Arctic migratory birds over the edge?', main applicant: NIOO's Bart Nolet.

'Arctic migratory birds over the edge?' was submitted by a consortium of experienced researchers that includes not just NIOO but KNMI, NIOZ, University of Amsterdam and Radboud University.

It was one of ten applications in total submitted as part of a policy-driven call-for-proposals last year, and assessed by the Board of the NWO Domain Science.

International responsibility

"In this project", write Nolet and his co-applicants, "we combine the latest climate models with existing and new data on migratory birds and their food web in the Arctic."

The Netherlands, they write, harbours large numbers of migratory birds because of its favourable location, and "bears an international responsibility to accommodate them."

Many of these birds spend the summer above the Arctic circle. But because climate changes faster in the Arctic than elsewhere, they may be under threat.

"We will assess the vulnerability of these migratory bird populations to climate change, and which mitigation measures are possible outside the breeding range."

Polar programme

Nolet's project has been awarded nearly 1 million euros in funding. In total, 5.5 million euros will be spent on polar research in this round.

On behalf of the Netherlands, the Polar Programme wants to contribute to solutions for fundamental scientific and socio-political issues, such as the consequences of climate change.