Marina Hofer

MSc student

Postal Address
Muesmattstrasse 27
CH-3012 Bern


Steppe lands are habitats for over 50% IUCN red listed birds in Europe and are heavily lost and degraded by infrastructure development or agricultural intensification. Dupont’s lark (Chersophilus duponti) is a threatened-steppe specialist bird living in Spain and Northern Africa. Unfortunately, with the current decline it will probably go extinct in the next 20 years. While habitat protection and restoration are the key to increasing viability, translocations of some individuals to suitable habitat could help to avoid imminent extinction of critical subpopulations. However, translocations have never been attempted for this species and pose many open questions: for example, how do we prevent released birds from flying back? I am investigating whether the birds are more likely to settle when they are offered food from a feeder. I track the birds individually at the feeding stations and check, whether specific behaviour or age corresponds with the chance for them to settle. The results of this project will help management whether to continue using feeders and they will give interesting insights into whether birds with certain behaviours, such as for example more dominant animals, are more likely to settle.