© Marcel Burkhardt
To shed light onto the ecology of this fascinating species the Swiss Ornithological Institute is hosting a master thesis investigating food and food availability of woodcocks in the Jura Mountains, where a large radio-tracking project took place in the last years. In particular, the thesis aims at identifying the food items of woodcocks in the breeding season and investigating their availability. The factors affecting food availability might be responsible for home-range placement as well as habitat use within home-ranges.
The field work will take place in the region of the Val de Travers in the Jura Mountains where up to 30 woodcocks home ranges have been determined throughout the last two years. In a first step, nutritional items of woodcocks will be assessed based on faeces samples. In a second step, a design investigating the factors affecting the availability of these food items within forests will be developed. In a third step, the habitats within (and outside) home-ranges can be analysed in respect to food availability. Since knowledge of the feeding ecology in this species is still scarce the master student can participate actively in establishing suitable sampling designs and methods. Accommodation during field work is provided in Fleurier, Val de Travers.
Interests in foraging behaviour and feeding ecology, preferably some knowledge about data analysis in R, driving license, enjoying extensive field work, also in difficult terrain, some knowledge of French, and motivation to work in a research team. This master project should be started not later than February 2018.
Dr. Martin Grüebler
++41 41 462 97 22
Dr. Benjamin Homberger