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Research Groningen Institute of Archaeology Research Research groups GIA

From historical data to a prediction of the future for geese on Arctic tundra

Margje de Jong
Margje de Jong

Margje de Jong, MSc


Supervisor: Prof. dr. Peter Jordan

Co-promotor: Dr. M.J.J.E. Loonen

Period of employment: 1 August 2014 – 1 August 2018

Financed by: NWO Polar Programme

Project Description:

This project investigates a barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) population in Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen using historical data and field experiments. Barnacle geese that breed on Spitsbergen overwinter in Scotland. The entire Spitsbergen barnacle goose population was threatened to become extinct in the 1940s. After conservation measures the population has increased dramatically. This means that as a whole, the Spitsbergen barnacle goose population is very successful. Nevertheless, on a smaller scale, the majority of individual geese attempt but fail to reproduce successfully during their life. This project therefore focusses on two research questions:

1. On an individual scale: Why do many of the individual geese fail to successfully reproduce?

a. Effect of predation? (on juveniles and adults)

b. Effect of human disturbance? (pollution)

c. Effect of upcoming diseases/parasites?

2. On a population scale: Why is the Spitsbergen barnacle goose population still successful?

a. E.g. dispersion to new areas (source-sink populations)

Last modified:20 February 2018 1.21 p.m.