Tracking global movements
In this work we track several shorebird species during their migrations across the world (red knots, sanderlings, bar-tailed godwits, and whimbrels). We do so in order to investigate how migrating individuals respond to typical global change problems, as there are Arctic warming, land reclamation, and fisheries.
The long-distance migrant shorebirds that we study all breed in the High Arctic and spend the long non-breeding season at lower latitudes, from Wadden Sea to tropical regions as Banc d’Arguin (Mauritania), Barr al Hikman (Oman), and the Bijagós Archipelago (Guinee-Bissau). By travelling the world, these birds have to deal with different global-change problems, most notably climate change at their Arctic breeding grounds. Through their migrations, the different human-induced problems that they face at different sites become connected. For example, the difficulty to arrive on time at their rapidly warming breeding grounds may be strengthen due to the loss of fueling sites further south (e.g. due to land reclamations). By tracking individuals these problems will be revealed to us, which could help us design conservation and mitigation programs.Read more +
Oil leakage in Siberia. Are the red knots in danger?
8 June 2020The research team is very concerned about the red knots flying to Siberia. There, 20,000 tons of diesel oil leaked from a tank into a river. Jan van Gils on RTL Nieuws
3 June 2020Social distancing is easy on the wide and open tidal flats of the Wadden Sea. Tim Oortwijn and Tini Katz following the satellite-tagged knots. Photo: Tim
2 June 2020The birds have been caught by the VICI-team of Jan van Gils in collaboration with Jutta Leyrer (NABU), in order to study the effects of Arctic warming on red knots.