Spitsbergen Arctic tern research

This is a Dutch video about Maarten Loonen’s Arctic tern migration research on the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic.

This video, with English subtitles, is also about that research.

Translated from an e-mail from Groningen university in the Netherlands:

Dear bird lover,

Thanks to the support of many donors, ecologist and polar researcher Maarten Loonen has been able to purchase forty geolocators at the end of May. Very soon, he will affix these tiny data recorders on Spitsbergen to the legs of forty Arctic terns. At least 33 birds will fly under the names which generous sponsors gave them, like Suzanne, Federico Segundo, Arctic Jewel and Guusje.

But we are only halfway through! The ultimate goal is to raise € 40,000 so that the research will be able to continue for several years. Therefore, the crowd funding campaign has been extended by one month.

On the site www.rugsteuntstern.nl … Martin tells more about his research. With the information he collects he hopes, inter alia, to be able to understand the impact of climate change on the Arctic tern. This ‘champion of migratory birds’ year after year travels 70,000 to 90,000 kilometers.

We would like to ask you to support Maarten Loonen’s Arctic tern research by sharing this with friends and acquaintances.

In this Dutch video, from 30 May 2013, Maarten Loonen talks about the crowd funding campaign. Then, 27 terns would get a sponsor’s name, and 13 other birds would be anonymous. Meanwhile, the number of sponsored birds has risen to 33.

This video, recorded in the Netherlands by Maarten Loonen says about itself:

June 9, 2013

I am joining Derick Hiemstra and Klaas van Dijk in the Eeemshaven to observe and ring Arctic Terns. In this industrial area, activity is low and Arctic Terns have started breeding. On this location the world champions [of] migration distance were equipped with a geolocator two years ago and recaught one year ago. Today Derick and Klaas are doing their normal checks. They read colour rings but also metal rings from terns. Then, we continue catching and ringing some breeding pairs. All this is part of my preparation for this summer’s field season on Spitsbergen.

UPDATE: meanwhile, Maarten has informed me that his tern research is near Ny-Ålesund, in the north of Spitsbergen. The local Arctic terns are beginning to nest.

Maarten blogs about his stay in Ny-Ålesund and surroundings, here.

This video by Maarten Loonen is about common tern research in Germany.

At the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the tiny bodies of Arctic tern chicks have piled up. Over the past few years, biologists have counted thousands that starved to death because the herring their parents feed them have vanished: here.

Dec. 18, 2013 — Biologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have for the first time shown that amphipods from the warmer Atlantic are now reproducing in Arctic waters to the west of Spitsbergen. This surprising discovery indicates a possible shift of the Arctic zooplankton community, scientists report in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. The primary victims of this “Atlantification” are likely to be marine birds, fish and whales. The reason is that the migrating amphipods measure around one centimetre, and so are smaller than the respective Arctic species; this makes them less nutritious prey: here.

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