DIVER - Telemetry of divers
As a Joint Venture between BioConsult SH, the Justus Liebig University of Gießen and DHI, the DIVER project has the overall objective to fill existing major knowledge gaps on the ecology of divers, e.g. habitat use and movement patterns within critical areas, with the aim to improve our ability to evaluate potential threats to divers and to develop conservation tools and actions for this species. With regards to offshore windfarms, the project will investigate the spatial distribution and temporal characteristics of diver habitat use. Thereby providing a sound basis for the assessment of the relation between offshore windfarm construction related diver habitat loss and diver habitat requirements, that will in turn improve our ability to evaluate habitat loss.
The following knowledge gaps have been identified and are being pursued within the project:
- Little is known about habitat use and movements of divers within and between different wintering areas. It has been suggested that diver habitat choice varies in relation to tidal currents, other hydrological changes and direct weather impacts.
- Migration patterns and general movement schedules throughout the annual cycle of divers are largely unknown. Diver numbers fluctuate substantially in different wintering areas and intensive movements have been recorded along the coasts of the Baltic and the North Sea. This indicates high mobility during the non-breeding period. As a result of the knowledge gaps about migration and local patterns, it has not been possible to understand and to evaluate the cumulative impacts of different human activities on these birds.
- Site fidelity to wintering and other staging areas is unknown. Whether birds are highly site faithful and return to the same places year after year or are flexible in using different geographic areas has important implications in evaluating potential impacts on populations.
- Locations of origin are unknown. During the non-breeding period divers are widely dispersed along the coasts and offshore areas in the Baltic and the North Seas and the northern Atlantic. Breeding populations are distributed across high latitudes of Russia, Scandinavian Peninsula, UK, Iceland and Greenland. Recoveries of ringed birds are scarce and therefore it is unknown which breeding populations are being affected on wintering and staging grounds.
More information about the project as well as daily updated tracks of tagged divers can be found on the project homepage www.divertracking.com.
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) represented by Projektträger Jülich (PtJ).
Project duration: 01/11/2014 – 31/10/2018
Funding ID 0325747 A/B