The Wadden Sea is of great importance to shorebirds, with millions of birds overwintering or fuelling for migration in the area each year. But they also face disturbances from natural and anthropogenic sources, including raptors, walkers, cyclists, boats and aircraft. A new, three-year study takes a detailed look at the effects of aircraft on the shorebirds in the Wadden Sea.

Vliehors on the Dutch Wadden island of Vlieland is a large sandflat that the Royal Netherlands Air Force has used as training area for its military aircraft ever since the end of the Second World War. There is also an airport for small civil aircraft nearby, located on the neighbouring island of Texel. This makes the area highly suitable for studying the impact of different types of aircraft on shorebirds.

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