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Thursday, January 28, 2021
Movement ecology and bird tracking during open day at NIOO

As part of the national Science Weekend in the first weekend of October 2013, consortium partner NIOO (Netherlands Institute of Ecology), also opened its doors to the general public. More than 2000 people visited the NIOO building in Wageningen and participated in guided tours, games and hands-on experiments that introduced the public in an interactive way to the work done by the scientists at NIOO.

The open day enabled people to visit the innovative research building in which a wide range of presentations and workshops were held. With movement ecology being also an important field of research at NIOO, visitors were able to learn more about this subject and the research on bird migration. In the main building a presentation was given on “Revolutions in tracking migratory birds” and, moreover, visitors were also able to learn more about movement ecology and the modern techniques (e.g. GNSS tags and accelerometers) used for bird tracking. Although the Canada geese that were tracked during E-Track were also present, they could have the day off, as the program included in this demonstration the element ‘track yourself’.

Recently, NIOO published in cooperation with SOVON (the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology) the results from a GPS tracking study on Bewick’s Swans. In the article, published in the Journal of Avian Biology, three years of GPS tracking data from individual swans were compared with concurrent ice cover data at five important migratory stop-over sites, leading to the conclusion that spring migration in swans is slower than autumn migration because spring migration speed is constrained by ice cover. Data from this tracking study was also used in reports during the E-Track project in order to test the TrackLab software. An article on stop-over sites of Bewick’s Swans in the Dutch journal on field ornithology Limosa is forthcoming and will also include some of the images made with the previous version of TrackLab (AnyTrack), including visualization of GPS tracks with heat maps.


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E-Track is carried out in the context of the Galileo FP7 R&D programme supervised by the GSA (Nr. 277679-2)