A&W has carried out many studies on habitat selection, breeding biology and foraging behavior of marsh breeding birds for many years now. Ecological studies and monitoring programs have been performed in various large-scaled wetlands, such as the Oostvaardersplassen and Lauwersmeer. Habitat models have been developed over the years by studying terrain quality and marsh bird ecology. This tool can be uses to determine limiting factors in species’ abundance and numbers, and work out restoration schemes. Recently, this kind of work has been done in the Zuidlaardermeer, Weerribben, and lakes along lake IJssel. In addition, the foraging ecology of harriers, in terms of habitat quality and the required feeding area, has been examined by mapping the hunting behavior of harriers in relation to habitat characteristics. Subsequently, recommendations for design and management of feeding areas around the Oostvaardersplassen have been prepared.
The effects of recreational use on marsh birds has been examined in the Lauwersmeer, Weerribben, Wieden, and various locations along lake IJssel. Based on data of recreational use, habitat quality and bird numbers in the Northwestern part of Overijssel, a GIS model is developed to determine the relationship between recreational use, and density and distribution of marsh breeding birds. In addition, effects of developments in recreational use in Frisian lakes and marshes is under study.
Please contact drs. Ron van der Hut for more information on wetlands restoration studies.