Expedition grant: Trading of early arrival and good body condition for Arctic-nesting Barnacle Geese

Страна: Нидерланды;

Дедлайн: 23.04.2015

Веб-сайт: nioo.knaw.nl


In the Arctic, a short breeding season puts severe time stress on breeding migratory geese, which have only a short time to lay and incubate their eggs and raise and prepare their young for the migratory journey to the wintering grounds. The geese need to arrive and start breeding as early as conditions permit, just after snow melt when foraging conditions are poor. This enhances chick survival, as hatching coincides with the peak of spring grass growth in the Arctic and food is amply available for the chicks. On the other hand, the adult geese need enough fat reserves to commence breeding under poor foraging conditions, which they can accumulate on staging sites during migration. An early arrival on the breeding grounds is thought to trade of with body condition on the breeding grounds, and the balance of this trade-of is possibly linked with different migration strategies.

In the summer of 2014 we have equipped 80 Barnacle Geese with GPS-loggers and geolocators on the breeding grounds in NW-Russia, in order to collect data on migration timing and strategies. In the summer of 2015, we will return to the breeding grounds to gather this data, and link this to reproductive success. Also, we will collect data on foraging conditions and territory quality.

The main aim of this student project is to study this trade-of, and to collect migration data from Barnacle Geese. We do encourage you to develop your own topic within the scope of this study. We are looking for a highly motivated student in ecology that is enthusiastic for bird-related fieldwork under challenging conditions. You will join our three-month expedition to Arctic Russia (Guba Kolokolkova, Tobseda), where the fieldwork mainly consists of nest monitoring and moult catches of geese. The ideal candidate has previous experience on remote field sites as well as experience with bird fieldwork.

This student’s project can be conducted as an Msc thesis/internship. The fieldwork will run from mid-May until mid-August 2014, the project ideally starts at the beginning of April.