Centre for Avian Population Studies
The Centre for Avian Population Studies (CAPS) is the knowledge centre for research on bird populations in the Netherlands. Five leading organisations in the fields of ornithology and population studies collaborate within CAPS: Sovon Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology, the Dutch Centre for Avian Migration and Demography (Vogeltrekstation), the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, the Institute for Water and Wetland Research of the Radboud University and the Dutch BirdLife partner (Vogelbescherming Nederland).
The activities of our growing human population affect many bird species. Some populations are decreasing despite our efforts to protect them, while others increase rapidly and cause damage to crops or vulnerable species.
By combining the data and expertise of the five partners, we can discover population changes in an early stage (‘early warning’) and determine their causes. With this knowledge, we can help design science-based management and conservation measures.
Our main aim is therefore:
“To promote research on demography (numbers, reproduction and survival) and driving environmental factors of bird populations for effective species conservation and management.”
CAPS for you
What can CAPS offer you as a client? CAPS can answer diverse questions on bird populations.
Fundamental ecological questions, such as:
- What determines whether a species can adapt to novel environments?
- To what extent do individual characteristics determine the growth or decline of a population?
But also more applied questions, such as:
- How can damage to crops caused by grazing geese be limited?
- What effect does your company have on vulnerable bird populations and how can this be mitigated?
- Why are farmland birds still decreasing despite costly conservation efforts? And what can we do about this?
- Which common bird species may become vulnerable in the near future?
- What is the minimum size of a sustainable population?
CAPS is a collaboration of five organisations.
It is managed by a Steering Committee, consisting of representatives from each organisation. The Steering Committee is assisted by a coordinator for day-to-day business.
“My work focusses on how individuals and populations of animals deal with a rapidly changing environment and how different drivers accumulate (e.g. extreme climatic events, disturbance, fisheries, mining). I am particularly interested in quantitative ecological research that answers scientific questions that are also directly for society and conservation.” Read moreDr. Martijn van de Pol – NIOO
“Together with researchers within CAPS I work on habitat selection, food ecology, energy management, population dynamics and migratory behavior of birds. Within CAPS there is extensive experience with inventories, ring research, radio telemetry, radar studies on migration and flight behavior, sampling of food supply, ecophysiology and energetics.” Read moreDr. Hans Schekkerman – Sovon
Dr. Henk P. van der Jeugd (1966) graduated from Groningen University in 1991, and obtained his PhD from Uppsala University in Sweden in 1999, working on ‘life-history decisions in a changing environment – a long-term study of the Baltic barnacle goose population’. Read moreDr. Henk P. van der Jeugd – Avian Migration Centre
“The main focus of my research is the impact of environmental drivers on spatial population dynamics. I want to understand how ecological and evolutionary processes at the individual level integrate and scale-up to population dynamics”. Read moreDr. ir. Eelke Jongejans – Radboud University
“To develop sound bird conservation policies and to implement effective conservation and mitigation measures, it is increasingly urgent to fully understand the dynamics of bird populations, and how bird survival, reproduction and population trends are affected by anthropogenic changes.” Read moreBert Denneman – BirdLife Netherlands