Journal of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science ›› 2020, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (4): 50-59.doi: 10.11947/j.JGGS.2020.0405

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Integrating Wintering Waterbird Movements with Earth Observation Data of Wetland Dynamics

Yachang CHENG1,2,3(),Juliane HUTH4,Yésou HERVÉ5,Nyambayar BATBAYAR6,Changqing DING3,Fengshan LI7,Martin WIKELSKI1,2   

  1. 1. Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Radolfzell 78315, Germany
    2. Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz 78457, Germany
    3. School of Ecology and Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
    4. German Aerospace Center (DLR), Earth Observation Center, German Remote Sensing Data Center, Wessling 82234, Germany
    5. ICube-SERTIT, University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg 67081, France
    6. Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, 14210, Mongolia
    7. International Crane Foundation, Wisconsin 53913, USA
  • Received:2020-09-20 Accepted:2020-11-10 Online:2020-12-20 Published:2021-01-15
  • About author:Yachang CHENG (1990—), female, doctoral student, majors in avian migration and bio-telemetry.E-mail:


Wetlands are among the most productive and essential ecosystems on earth, but they are also highly sensitive and vulnerable to climate change and human disturbance. One of the current scientific challenges is to integrate high-resolution remote sensing data of wetlands with wildlife movements, a task we achieve here for dynamic waterbird movements. We demonstrate that the White-naped cranes Antigone vipio wintering at Poyang Lake wetlands, southeast of China, mainly used the habitats created by the dramatic hydrological variations, i.e. seasonal water level fluctuation. Our data suggest that White-naped cranes tend to follow the water level recession process, keeping close to the boundary of water patches at most of the time. We also highlight the benefits of interdisciplinary approaches to gain a better understanding of wetland ecosystem complexity.

Key words: Poyang Lake; Sentinel-1A; interdisciplinary approach; wetland monitoring; water surface; White-naped cranes