Foraging and Movement Ecology
Scaling up from processes at the individual level to patterns at the population level.
We try to understand patterns at the population level from foraging and movement processes acting at the individual level. We use optimality principles, which are founded in foraging theory and migration theory, to model animal migration and site use. The approach taken is a combination of field work, experiments and modelling. Our main study species are herbivorous birds (geese and swans), that migrate between the arctic tundra and the temperate region, and of which a large proportion of the flyway population winters in the Netherlands (Bewick’s swan, barnacle goose, dark-bellied brent goose, pink-footed goose, white-fronted goose).
Climate change is expected to be prominent in the Arctic and at the same time land-use changes are continuing in the temperate region; we study how these birds are responding to these changes. The idea behind using optimality principles is that these will still be valid under new conditions, so we might be able to predict future population distribution and abundance from these principles. In that sense we are developing tools that can be used in environmental impact assessments and adaptive management.
ArcticMigrants Arctic migratory birds pushed over the edge?
GooseScare Indirect effects of goose disturbance
ArcticPinkfeet Response of geese to climate warming in the Arctic
GooseHeart A new style of life in a traditionally Arctic migratory bird
AtlanticSwans From individual movement to population distribution
ArcticSwans Unravelling the annual cycle of an Arctic migrant in search of its decline
ArcticBarnies How can Arctic-nesting geese cope with Arctic amplification?
E-Track EGNOS and EDAS enhanced tracking of animal movement and behaviour. This project will develop GPS animal tracking and analysis tools for sophisticated behavioural research on wild and domestic animals.
Metawad 1. work package Brent Goose. This project investigates the importance of non-breeding habitats, for brent goose population dynamics and individual fitness.
Adaptive management of migratory populations. developing novel tools at the interface between ecology, economy, agriculture and society (MIGRAPOP)
Towards adaptive management of white-fronted geese wintering in the Netherlands. This project incorporate a behaviour-based migration model into a population dynamical model in order to be able to evaluate management options, which reduce conflicts with farmers whilst safeguarding the population.