Monitoring and surveys

Telemetry studies

How do animals use their living environment, where do they forage, sleep and hibernate? These are often the core questions in ecological research that provide the basis for larger questions. We use rings, colour-marks, transmitters and data loggers to track the movements of animals. We follow species during their daily movements and throughout their annual migration, even recording birds' journeys from the Netherlands all the way to Antarctica.

We have been using VHF transmitters, geolocators, satellite transmitters and GPS loggers to track animals for more than fifteen years. Each research question requires specific materials and methods. That is why we first develop a feasible plan of action to ensure we use the best methods and can answer the question with sufficient statistical certainty. We take the ethical aspects of this type of research extremely seriously. Telemetry studies usually fall under legislation covering animal experiments and we are hold licenses for carrying out this type of research.

Water buffalo to migratory birds

Our projects vary greatly in both spatial- and temporal-scale and in study species. For example, we used GPS transmitters to map the habitat use of water buffalos in part of the Netherlands. In the Dutch Delta, we investigated the foraging behaviour of terns and cormorants to monitor the effects of the Rotterdam Harbour extension (Maasvlakte II) at the local scale. We have mapped complete migration routes of various species of birds including gulls, terns, waders, birds of prey, herons, geese and swallows. These birds have collected data from locations from all over Europe, far into Africa, Australisian waters and even Antarctica.

Research results

In our reports and scientific publications we use information about flight speeds, flight heights and nighttime activity. With this information we can improve collision rate models for birds with wind turbines. The research results are used directly for practical applications.