Habitat fragmentation

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Our landscape is continually being fragmented by the construction of roads, motorways, canals and urban areas leading to the isolation of nature reserves. This affects the dispersal of animals and plants. In order to connect various natural areas, a network known as the “Ecologische Hoofdstructuur” (EHS) is being developed in the Netherlands. Wildlife passages are another example of how barriers can be eliminated.


ITEM: COMMON LIZARD (ZOOTOCA VIVIPARA)

  • Fitness of common lizards in several habitat types on a heathland area
    Several locations on a heath land called the Strabrechtse heide in the southeastern part of the Netherlands have been fertilized with dung. These patches are former (small) farmlands and lie amidst the nutrient poor heathlands. We would like to know what the effects of these additional nutrients in the soil are on lizard fitness in comparison to the lizards on nutrient poor soils.

    LEVEL: BSc or MSc student
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: 5-6 months
    START DATE: March/  October 
    SUPERVISORS: Raymond Creemers & Jeroen van Delft

  • Data analysis decline common lizard in the Netherlands
    The common lizard is declining in the Netherlands. This steady decline has been based on the results on the results of 200 transects that are monitored since 1994. We would like to know, based on this dataset, what the underlying factors for this decline are in different regions and habitat throughout the country.

    LEVEL: MSc student (Applicant must be proficient in Arc GIS)
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: No fixed period 
    START DATE: January / December (full year)
    SUPERVISOR: Raymond Creemers

ITEM: ADDER (VIPERA BERUS)

  • Foraging habits of the Adder in relation to vegetation types on a heathland
    Would it be possible to distinguish based on vegetation to deliminate where Adders prefer to forage? This assignment seeks to found just this out on a heathland (the Wolfhezerheide) in the center of the Netherlands. All components of the vegetation need to be mapped in this area and surveyed on the presence of Adders. When Adders are encountered during surveys they need to be sexed (if possible), a photograph of the scalation on the head needs be taken and a general assessment of their fitness. All this can be done without catching the animal. On a nearby heath land the same study will be conducted as means of reference.

    LEVEL: BSc or MSc student
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: 5-6 months
    START DATE: May/ October 
    SUPERVISORS: Jeroen van Delft & Ton Stumpel

ITEM: COMMON SPADEFOOT (PELOBATES FUSCUS)

  • Breeding and reintroduction of Common Spadefoots
    The Common Spadefoot has become very rare in the Netherlands. Because of this sharp decline a program has been initiated that focuses on reintroduction of the species and supplementing existing populations with head started larvae. In the Dutch province Noord-Brabant larvae have been introduced in three areas since 2012 in order to strengthen existing population or establish new ones. The larvae are raised in Artis Zoo (Natura Magistra) in Amsterdam. Raising the delicate larvae is a specialized task and quite laborious. For the period April – July there is a slot open for an enthusiastic intern for both the breeding station at the Zoo and for fieldwork

    LEVEL: Animal husbandry student (no first years); Student must show a high level of independence but must also work in a team. Reliability and sociability are also necessary skills
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: 3.5 months
    START DATE: 1 April / 15 July 
    SUPERVISORS: Wilbert Bosman & Richard Struijk and Zoo staff.

  • Breeding success Common Spadefoot
    Reptile, Amphibian and Fish Conservation the Netherlands initiated in 2012 a program focused on the reintroduction of Common Spadefoots in both existing populations and in areas were the species disappeared. Despite restoring and improving terrestrial and breeding habitat the past 10 years some populations did not increase. The goal of this internship are to identify which waters are colonized and if breeding takes place. At the onset of the breeding season (April) you will listen to calling males and later in the season funnel trap are used to catch larvae and determine breeding success.

    LEVEL: BSc or MSc student
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: 3 months
    START DATE: March / May 
    SUPERVISOR'S: Wilbert Bosman & Richard Struijk

  • Are populations of the common spadefoot in the Netherlands in a viable state?
    The common spadefoot is one of the most threatened amphibian species of the Netherlands. To remain viable for a period of 100 years a population needs a certain amount of reproductive adults. The common spadefoot lives about two month in his reproductive habitat but 10 month in his terrestrial habitat. Special about the common spadefoot is that is has the ability to dig itself into the soil. Because of that it has special requirements for the terrestrial habitat. In this study we investigate if dutch populations of the common spadefoot have sufficient terrestrial habitat available to be viable.

    LEVEL: BSc or MSc student
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: 6 months
    START DATE: March / September
    SUPERVISOR: Wilbert Bosman

  • Reproductive behaviour of the Common spadefoot
    Common spadefoots call under water. That makes it more difficult to hear them and to estimate the numbers that are calling. Surveys for calling activity of the Common spadefoot most of the time starts one hour after sunset. Is this the best moment to investigate calling activity of the Common spadefoot. In 2016 in a pilot we registered calling activity 24 hours a day. We acquired interesting data. In spring 2017 the pilot will be continued to improve the registration method in the vicinity of Nijmegen.

    LEVEL: BSc student
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: 5 months
    START DATE: March / July
    SUPERVISOR'S: Wilbert Bosman & Baudewijn Odé


ITEM: GREAT CRESTED NEWT (GREAT CRESTED NEWT)

  • Ecological research on a meta-population of great crested newts
    A metapopulation of great crested newts resides in an area south of the river Waal (Ooijpolder), near the city of Nijmegen in the east of the Netherlands. We would like to know how this population is structured and distributed in this area. This study started in 2011 but in this year many suitable breeding ponds were dry because of low water levels. 

    LEVEL: BSc or MSc student
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: 6 months
    START DATE: March/ August
    SUPERVISOR: Wilbert Bosman

  • Development of eggs of the northern crested newt in relation to water quality and genetics
    In some ponds in an area of the province of Overijssel on a yearly base hundreds of eggs of the northern crested newt are counted. However when the ponds are surveyed in june/july with funnel traps hardly any larvae are caught. It is unknown what causes this. Is it caused by bad water quality or is there a genetical problem in this population. During this study the development of the eggs will be monitored.

    LEVEL: BSc or MSc student
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: 5 months
    START DATE: March/ July
    SUPERVISOR: Wilbert Bosman & Frank Spikmans


ITEM: HERPETOFAUNA: AMPHIBIAN ROAD MITIGATION AND BODY DIMENSIONS

  • Amphibian tunnels: do they work?
    Reptile, Amphibian and Fish Conservation the Netherlands is conducting a study for PWN (Dune management) and the Province of Noord-Holland on amphibian- tunnels and screens. These measures have been taken to reduce road mortality in amphibians, especially during spring migration. Near the villages Castricum and Bergen both tunnels and screens have been installed alongside roads and bicycle paths in order to secure a safe passage for amphibians. But how effective are these? RAVON initiated a long term study to assess what the effects of these mitigation measures are on the long term viability of amphibian communities in these areas. Tasks will consist of surveying breeding waters in the dunes and inland by means of chorus assessments, counting spawn of frogs and toads and estimating population size. The latter will also be done (with assistance of RAVON project officers and local volunteers) by means of capture-mark recapture (CMR) techniques including with marked natterjack toads. Victims of traffic will also be noted. Lastly, all this data needs to be condensed in a report. All in all an exciting and innovative internship! Most of the fieldwork will be in the evening and early morning from February until May (2017). We prefer a team of two interns but a single intern is also possible. There is the option to stay at the research station of PWN during the study. The internship is provided by the Province of Noord-Holland but guidance will be provided by RAVON. Interested? Please contact Richard Struijk or Rémon ter Harmsel (RAVON): +31 7410600. For other question please contact Nico Jonker or Belinda van de Kort of Province Noord-Holland (+31 235143143)

    LEVEL: BSc or MSc student
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: 5 months
    START DATE: 1 February 2017 / 1 May 2017
    SUPERVISOR: Richard Struijk (RAVON), Rémon ter Harmsel (RAVON), Nico Jonker (Province Noord-Holland), Belinda van de Kort (Province Noord-Holland)

  • Body dimensions and weight Dutch amphibians and reptiles
    What is the average weight of a common toad and what size can great crested newt attain? To date there is no National Database with such information. We are looking for motivated interns that want to dive into this subject. This internship consists of both fieldwork and compiling existing data (literature study).

    LEVEL: BSc student ((basic knowledge of native species necessary)
    EXTENT OF THE INTERNSHIP: Fieldwork during active season of native herpetofauna. Literature study year round.
    START DATE: No fixed period
    SUPERVISOR: Annemarieke Spitzen

  

Internship contact form

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If you are interested in doing an internship at RAVON or if you have a question about one of the internships please contact our internship coordinator by filling out the form below!

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  RAVON is de kennisorganisatie voor reptielen, amfibieën en vissen. Advies, onderzoek & bescherming.   Telefoon: 024-7410600
Email: kantoor@ravon.nl
Adres: zie contact pagina