Habitat use western marsh harrier Schelde left bank

Project Details


The aim of the project is to gain an insight into the effectiveness of measures for the foraging area of the western marsh harrier in the context of the species protection plan (SBP) 'Western marsh harrier port of Antwerp' and the Interreg project 'Grenspark Groot Saeftinghe'.
In order to investigate the habitat use of western marsh harriers as a function of their foraging habits using emitters on the adult breeding birds is indispensable. These birds are unpredictable in their foraging movements and are therefore largely untraceable to researchers. The use of habitats, in particular specific parcels (i.e. measures), parcel borders, ditch networks, fallow land, cannot be investigated/quantified by normal observation. This method does not give a satisfactory result (due to a lack of observations) and cannot be extrapolated to an entire population. Supplying adult birds with emitters can not only map the use of the various measures/habitats but also the intensity of foraging per habitat. This information can be linked to the knowledge of these specific habitats, gathered by systematic counts of prey present (breeding birds, mouse populations, rabbits, etc.) in order to determine the importance of this or that measure/habitat for the breeding bird population. Based on this, the effectiveness of certain measures for the western marsh harrier can be determined, which can lead to the adjustment of the set of measures in terms of cultivation, size, distance to (potential) nesting place and management/treatment as a function of seasonality (e. g. mowing relevance during breeding season and when).
Effective start/end date18/12/1731/12/24

Thematic List 2020

  • Protected nature
  • Nature & society

Thematic list

  • Schelde
  • Natura 2000 and conservation objectives
  • Antwerpen
  • Birds