Spring 2017: MSc thesis announcement

Clutch size, hatching rate and offspring survival rate of Greylag Geese in Niedersachsen
The number of breeding Greylag Geese is increasing and so are reported conflicts. To found a possible management plan for Greylag Geese the “Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz” launched a project in which we investigate clutch size, hatching rate and chick survival at two study sites, one near Aurich, the other at Lake Dümmer.
Methods: Starting in April the student will search for the nest sites of the breeding females, and record clutch size and egg weight. After the chicks have hatched the student will return to the nest to check the number of hatched eggs. Next to this, from the moment of hatching the families will be followed to measure the survival rate of the hatched chicks. To this, the student will search for the families on a fixed interval to check whether any of the chicks have died or have been killed by predators.
Preferably between the 15th of March and the end of June, other options are negotiable.
To apply for this master thesis please send a short CV and your reason of interest in this project to: sander.moonen[at]

Do nature reserves matter for Arctic geese wintering in Niedersachsen?

Disturbance on geese in nature reserves versus agricultural fields
Aim and scope: The scope of this work is to investigate the influence of disturbance on Arctic Greater White-fronted Goose and Barnacle Goose.
Methods: In this thesis you will make use of two different behavioural observation methods, individual behaviour of radio-tagged birds and group behaviour. You will observe an individual goose that is tagged with a GPS/ACC transmitter. The tag records avoidance behaviour (vigilance, walking away and flight) whenever the goose is disturbed by human activities, along with the exact GPS time and combines it with the GPS position and the behavioural data. The second method is scan sampling, during which the student observes a group of geese for an equal amount of time in each and records the behaviour of all members of the group every 10 minutes.
Impact: This thesis will be an important part of an investigation towards the influence of disturbance on geese, in which we eventually hope to create a management plan to decrease grazing damage of wintering geese on agricultural land.
Period:Preferably between 1st November 2016 and the end of April 2017, other options are negotiable.
To apply for this master thesis please send a short CV and your reason of interest in this project to: sander.moonen[at]