- Modelling the adaptive behaviour of migrating white storks
- 24th International Ornithological Congress
- Journal für Ornithologie
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Meeting Abstract
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
White storks (Ciconia ciconia) are soaring migrants whose western Palearctic populations use several migration routes, concentrating mainly over Gibraltar and Israel to cross between their Palearctic breeding grounds and wintering grounds in Africa. A wealth of data has been collected during the last decades on white stork migration through visual observations, ringing, satellite telemetry, radar and motorized glider studies. Through these studies much is known about the migratory routes, migration timing and intensity, flight altitudes and the influence of meteorological conditions at different scales. However, the data and knowledge from these studies have yet to be combined to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms involved in shaping the course of white stork migration. We are integrating the available knowledge about white stork migration with a dynamic individual-based simulation model. The model, comprising several equations and behavioural decision rules, will describe the behaviour of white storks during their autumn migration from Europe to Africa along the eastern migration route. Large-scale gridded meteorological data will be used as model forcing. We parameterize the model by aiming at a minimum number of parameters and decision rules, while requiring the model to give a close fit to observed distributions of migration speed and direction. By confronting the model results with the observations and applying general-purpose optimization algorithms to our model to identify the "best" parameter sets, we test different combinations of decision rules and theories regarding adaptations in flight behaviour to meteorological conditions. Different parameter sets resulting in, for example, successful migration, can be used as an alias for different stork personalities and help us understand how individuals cope, perhaps differently, with dynamic environmental conditions during migration.
- Proceedings title: 24th International Ornithological Congress
Place of publication: Germany
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