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Participants: Marcel Klaassen (PI), members of the Victorian Wader Study Group and Australasian Wader Studies Group (notably Clive Minton, Ken Gosbell, Chris Hassel, Danny Rogers), Silke Bauer (Netherlands Institute of Ecology and Vogelwarte Sempach, CH), William W Buttemer, Laurie Laurenson and Daniel Ierodiaconou (CIE)
Aims and background: Given the long distances they travel and the spatial extent of their annual environment, of all animals, migratory species are particularly vulnerable to global change processes. On a global scale, coastal zones/estuaries/wetlands are hardest hit by global change processes and experience the highest human population densities. Consequently, long-distance migratory waterbirds are particularly at risk, making them of special interest to study the mechanisms through which animals may escape severe population decline. Within this project we aim to:
Candidate model species are turnstone, greater sand plover and sharp-tailed sandpiper.
Scientific significance and innovation: Understanding migratory behaviour through integrating empirical data into theoretical concepts is still in its infancy but increasingly done. The subsequent testing and validating of these models is of utmost importance but not done to date for obvious reasons of logistics.
Potential national benefit and strategic alignment with the aims of the CIE: The research addresses the CIE's core research topic of "how life reacts to change" and bundles the expertise of a range of CIE members integrating traditionally disparate fields of research. At the same time this study may directly provide insights and data of relevance to the protection of the investigated species and other migrants. Moreover the study may have potential socio-economic relevance in relation to the spread of zoonoses, the spread of exotic species, risk of migratory birds to aviation, obesity- related research (hyperphagia and HIF) and the role of dietary Ω-3 FA.