Barbara Waringer, MSc BSc BA

Consultation hours: by personal agreement, preferably by e-mail

I grew up with the fascination for the diversity of plants and all kinds of animals. By now, I am interested in animal ecology and conservation, working mainly with birds. Birds have impressive adaptations to fit the requirements of their very diverse habitats and can give much information on the state of their surroundings.

For my master thesis I assessed habitat preferences of a cavity breeder, the Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) in the Austrian Donau-Auen national park.

In my phd project, which is embedded in the LE-Project “Prädation von Bodenbrütern” which is supported by the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism via the program “Entwicklung für den ländlichen Raum” and is implemented in cooperation with BirdLife Austria. I do research on clutch predation of ground nesting species such as Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) and Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus). In Central Europe, many ground nesting bird species show negative population trends. Beside factors such as habitat deterioration, land use change, disturbance, small population size and human-caused mortality, predation is discussed as potentially important threat to decreasing populations. In Austria by now only a few studies have focussed on the impact of predation on ground breeding birds. My project is concentrating on nest predation in three non-passerine ground-nesting bird species, the Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and the Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus. Field work started in 2017 and took place in eight of nine Austrian counties. Different methodological – experimental and direct -  approaches are used to find spatio-temporal patterns of clutch predation and potential effects on populations of ground-breeders.

The project team includes Dr. Christian Schulze, Dr. Erwin Nemeth, Nina Gallmetzer, Felix Meyer and three Master students, Janette Siebert, Julia Paterno, Katharina Neugebauer.