Modelling the flyway of arctic breeding shorebirds; parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis

B.J. Ens, H. Schekkerman, I.Y.M. Tulp, S. Bauer, M. Klaassen

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


This report describes the derivation of parameter estimates for the model DYNAMIG for an arctic breeding shorebird, the Knot. DYNAMIG predicts the optimal spring migration of birds, like shorebirds and geese, that depend of a chain of discrete sites, to travel between their breeding grounds and their wintering grounds. An important parameter is the terminal reward, which describes the fitness consequences of arriving with a particular body condition at a particular time on the breeding grounds. We derived the terminal reward from field studies in Siberia carried out as part of this project. Other parameter values, like flight costs, maintenance metabolism and predation risk were derived from the literature. Predictions on aspects of the migration schedule with the parameterized model were partly correct and partly wrong. Suggestions are made how to remedy the discrepancies. An interesting prediction of the model that requires testing is that Knots breeding in Canada migrate via Iceland, whereas Knots breeding on Greenland migrate via Norway. A sensitivity analysis indicated that this prediction was quite robust.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
Number of pages119
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1381-6519


  • sea birds
  • coasts
  • migration
  • models
  • flight
  • energy cost of activities
  • predation
  • calidris
  • shores

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