Dr. Johannes Kamp
Dr. Johannes Kamp
Institute of Landscape Ecology
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group
Room 505
Heisenbergstr. 2
48149 Münster
Tel: +49(0)251-83 30 212
Fax: +49(0)251-83 38 338
Consultation hours: On appointment
  • News


    © OSME
    • March: Was the breeding range of the (possibly extinct) Slender-billed Curlew situated in Kazakhstan? New analysis published based on analysis of stable isotopes in feathers. [Blog]
    • March: Wieland Heim has joined our group for his PhD on land bird population trends and migration. Welcome!
    • March: New project on the migration ecology of Asian land birds kicked off: one PhD and three Master theses to commence soon at the Russian Far East [Blog]
    • February: New paper in Global Change Biology: robust field sampling quantifies carbon accumulation due to massive farmland abandonment, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    • January: The value of large-scale citizen-science projects: My two pennies worth on the NABU winter garden birdwatch in Germany (Zeit online, Spiegel online).
  • News archive


    Workshop Yellow-breasted Bunting China 2016
    © Simba Chan
    • November: From research to action - international workshop on the globally threatened Yellow-breasted Bunting and land bird monitoring in Asia (Guangzhou, China). Summary
    • October: Our Special issue of Biodiversity and Conservation on the ecology and conservation of the Palearctic steppes is now out, including a new synthesis paper.
    • September: New collaboration: PhD student Stepan Boldyrev receives prestiguous scholarship of the Russian president for a six month research stay in our group. He will start to look into population trends of Western Siberian songbirds.
    © Tomás Václavík
    • August: Hot off the press: Are our results on sustainable land management transferable to other regions of the world? New paper by  Tomáš Václavík with contributions from our project SASCHA.
    © Johannes Kamp
    © Irina Grigoreva
    • July: New paper out: How useful are casual records submitted to public online databases for animal population monitoring? [doi: 10.1111/ddi.12463 ].
    • June: Bird and insect surveys continued across the large ‚savannas‘ of Northern Hesse’s massive coppiced woods (Germany).
    • May: Fieldwork in Kazakhstan: disentangling the effects of fire and grazing on small mammal abundance [pictures]
    • April: Our research on Black Larks featured in the Audubon (BirdLife US) magazine.
    • April: Mapping birds in Germany’s largest remaining coppiced woods, Northern Hesse (BSc theses Josef Kallmayer and Julian Koch )
    • March: Satellite-tagged Sociable Lapwings   reveal stopover sites in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – report now out! [pdf ]

    © Klaus Nigge
    • February: Three papers now in press for a forthcoming special issue of Biodiversity & Conservation on the Palearctic Steppes:


    • October: Combining satellite tracking and ground surveys to study the migration of Sociable Lapwings from Kazakhstan to Africa and India [updates]

    © Huang Qiusheng

    Press release BirdLife International

    Press release University of Münster 

    Media coverage: Science, Nature, The Guardian, SWR radio feature

    • May: Fieldwork in Kazakhstan – counting birds on the Great Steppe
    • April: Ruslan Urazaliev  joined the BALTRAK team for his PhD on trade-offs between steppe biodiversity conservation and agricultural development.
    • March: NWO award for Christian Härting’s BSc thesis on Montagu’s Harrier nest survival in agricultural landscapes.
    • March: Alyona Shmalenko joined the BALTRAK team. She will do her PhD on the relationships between grazing and small mammal distribution and abundance on the Kazakh steppe. Welcome!
    • February: Winter habitat use of our satellite-tracked Sociable Lapwings in Sudan and India: The Amazing Journey
    • January: More conservation research needed on Eastern European farmland: Sutcliffe et al. 2014


    • December: The data  of our autumn bird migration counts from the institute’s roof is now entered, checked and available for citizen science analyses
    • October: Funding for new three-year research project granted by the VolkswagenStiftung: Trade-offs between agriculture and biodiversity on the steppes of Kazakhstan. More
    • September: New paper out on breeding performance of Northern Lapwings . Can urban brownfields compensate for some biodiversity loss caused by agricultural intensification?

Research Interests

Much of my research focuses on the impacts of changing land-use on biodiversity, especially the far-reaching changes in agriculture that affected large territories after the break-up of the Soviet Union. With increasing pressure on land and increasing land-use intensity, I try to contribute to ideas that promote more sustainable land management for the conservation of wild nature, currently mostly in projects in Siberia and Central Asia.

I am also interested in the conservation ecology of globally threatened and endemic bird species. On-going research includes projects on Sociable Lapwing, Yellow-breasted Bunting and Black Lark. I use a wide array of methods including distribution and population modelling and satellite tracking to inform conservation action for declining species.


International publications (peer-reviewed)

* Papers of supervised MSc students


  • Griewald Y, Kamp J, Clemens G, Gladun E, Hölzel N, von Dressler H (submitted) Developing scenarios for sustainable land management in Western Siberia.


  • Buchanan GM, Bond A, Crockford NJ, Kamp J, Pearce-Higgings JW, Hilton G (2017, in press) The potential breeding range of Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris identified from stable-isotope analysis. Bird Conservation International 27 [doi: 10.1017/S0959270916000551]
  • Wertebach T-M, Hölzel N, Kämpf I, Yurtaev A, Tupitsin S, Kiehl K, Kamp J, Kleinebecker T (2017, in press) Soil carbon sequestration due to post-Soviet cropland abandonment: Estimates from a large-scale SOC field inventory. Global Change Biology [doi:10.1111/gcb.13650]
  • Palpurina S, Wagner V, von Wehrden H, Hájek M, Hórsak M, Brinkert A, Hölzel N, Wesche K, Kamp J, Hájková P, Danihelka J, Lustyk P, Merunková K, Preislerová Z, Kočí MKubešová,  S, Cheresov M, Ermakov N, German D, Gogoleva P, Lashchynsky N, Martynenko V, Chytrý M (2017) The relationship between plant species richness and soil pH vanishes with increasing aridity across Eurasian dry grasslands. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26 (4): 425–434 [doi:10.1111/geb.12549]
  • Wagner V, Chytrý M, Zelený D, von Wehrden H, Brinkert A, Danihelka J, Jansen F, Hölzel N, Kamp J, Lustyk P, Merunková K, Palpurina S, Preislerová Z, Wesche K (2017, in press) Regional differences in soil pH niche among dry grassland plants in Eurasia. Oikos [doi: 10.1111/oik.03369]


  • Václavík T, Langerwisch F, Cotter M, Fick J, Häuser I, Hotes S, Kamp J, Settele J, Spangenberg J, Seppelt R (2016) Investigating potential transferability of place-based research in land system science. Environmental Research Letters 11: 095002 [doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/9/095002]
  • Kamp J, Oppel S, Heldbjerg H, Nyegaard T, Donald PF (2016) Unstructured citizen science data fail to detect long‐term population declines of common birds in Denmark. Diversity and Distributions 22 (10): 1024–1035 [doi: 10.1111/ddi.12463]


Five papers in a special issue on Palearctic steppes:

  • Török P, Ambarli D, Kamp J, Wesche K, Dengler K (2016) Step(pe) up! Raising the profile of palaearctic steppe grasslands. Biodiversity and Conservation 25 (12): 2187–2195 [doi: 10.1007/s10531-016-1187-6]
  • Wesche K, Ambarli D, Török P, Kamp J, Treiber J, Dengler J (2016) The Palaearctic steppe biome: a new synthesis. Biodiversity and Conservation 25 (12): 2197–2231 [doi: 10.1007/s10531-016-1214-7]
  • Kamp J, Koshkin MA, Bragina, Katzner TE, Milner-Gulland EJ, Schreiber D, Sheldon R, Shmalenko A, Smelansky I, Terraube J, Urazaliev R (2016) Persistent and novel threats to the biodiversity of Kazakhstan’s steppes and semi-deserts. Biodiversity and Conservation 25 (12): 2521–2541 [doi:10.1007/s10531-016-1083-0]
  • Lameris T*, Fijen T, Urazaliev R, Pulikova G, Donald PF, Kamp J (2016) Breeding ecology of the endemic Black Lark Melanocorypha yeltoniensis on natural steppe and abandoned croplands in post-Soviet Kazakhstan. Biodiversity and Conservation 25 (12): 2381-2400 [doi:10.​1007/​s10531-015-1041-2] Open Access Paper
  • Brinkert A*, Hölzel N, Sidorova TV, Kamp J (2016) Spontaneous steppe restoration on abandoned cropland in Kazakhstan: grazing affects successional pathways. Biodiversity and Conservation 25 (12): 2543-2561 [doi: 10.1007/s10531-015-1020-7]



  • Kamp J, Urazaliev R, Balmford A, Donald PF, Green RE, Lamb A, Phalan B (2015) Agricultural development and the conservation of avian biodiversity on the Eurasian steppes: a comparison of land-sparing and land-sharing approaches. Journal of Applied Ecology 52: 1578–1587  [doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12527]
  • Fijen TPM*, Kamp J, Lameris TK, Urazaliev R, Pulikova G, Kleijn D, Donald PF (2015) Functions of extensive animal dung ‘pavements’ around the nests of the Black Lark Melanocorypha yeltoniensis. The Auk 132: 878–892 [doi: 10.1642/AUK-15-38.1]

  • Kamp J, Oppel S, Ananin AA, Durnev YuA, Gashev SN, Hölzel N, Mishchenko AL, Pessa J, Smirenski SM, Strelnikov EG, Timonen S, Wolanska K, Chan S, (2015): Global population collapse in a superabundant migratory bird and illegal trapping in China. Conservation Biology 29: 1684–1694  [doi:10.1111/cobi.12537]
  • Kamp J, Pelster A, Gaedicke L, Karthäuser J, Dieker P, Mantel K (2015) High nest survival and productivity of Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus breeding on urban brownfield sites. Journal of Ornithology 156: 179–190 [doi: 10.1007/s10336-014-1114-0]
  • Sutcliffe L, Batáry P, Kormann U, Baldi A, Dicks LV, Herzon I, Kleijn D, Tryjanowski P, Apostolova I, Arlettaz R, Aunins A, Aviron S, Balezentiene L,  Fischer C,  Halada L, Hartel T, Helm A, Hristov I, Jelaska SD, Kaligarič M, Kamp J, Klimek S, Koorberg P, Kostiukova J, Kovács-Hostyánszki A, Kuemmerle T, Leuschner C, Lindborg R, Loos J, Maccherini S, Marja R, Máthé O, Paulini I, Proença V, Rey-Benayas J, Sans FX, Seifert C, Stalenga J, Timaeus J, Török P, van Swaay C, Viik E, Tscharntke T (2015) Harnessing the biodiversity value of Central and Eastern European farmland. Diversity and Distributions 21: 722-730 [doi: 10.1111/ddi.12288]


2014 and earlier

  • Kamp J (2014) Land management: Weighing up the reuse of Soviet croplands. Nature 505: 483 [doi:10.1038/505483d]
  • Sheldon RD, Kamp J, Koshkin MA, Urazaliev RS, Iskakov TK, Field RH, Salemgareev AR, Khrokov VV, Zhuly VA, Sklyarenko SL, Donald PF (2013) Breeding ecology of the globally threatened Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius and the demographic drivers of recent declines. Journal of Ornithology 154 (2): 501-516 [doi:10.1007/s10336-012-0921-4]
  • Kamp J, Siderova T, Salemgaarev A, Urazaliev R, Donald PF, Hölzel N (2012) Niche separation of larks (Alaudidae) and agricultural change on the drylands of the former Soviet Union. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 155: 41–49. [doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2012.03.023]
  • Kamp J, Urazaliev R, Donald PF, Hölzel, N (2011) Post-Soviet agricultural change predicts future declines after recent recovery in Eurasian steppe bird populations. Biological Conservation 144: 2607–2614. [doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.07.010]
  • Schielzeth H, Kamp J, Eichhorn G, Heinecke T, Koshkin MA, Lachmann L, Sheldon RD, Koshkin AV (2010) Wader, gull and tern population estimates for a key breeding and stopover site in Kazakhstan. Bird Conservation International 20: 186–199. [doi:10.1017/S0959270910000031]
  • Kamp J, Koshkin MA, Sheldon RD (2010) Historical breeding of Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius in Xinjiang. Chinese Birds 1: 70–73.
    [doi: 10.5122/cbirds.2009.0001]
  • Kamp J, Sheldon RD, Koshkin MA, Donald PF, Biedermann R (2009) Post-Soviet steppe management causes pronounced synanthropy in the Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius. Ibis 151: 452–463.
    [doi: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2009.00938.x]
  • Kamp J, Koshkin MA, Sheldon RD (2009) Population size, breeding performance and habitat selection of the Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni. Bird Conservation International 19: 149–163.
    [doi: 10.1017/S0959270908008150]
  • Schielzeth H, Eichhorn G, Heinicke T, Kamp J, Koshkin MA, Koshkin AV, Lachmann L (2008) Waterbird migration on the Central Asian flyway: Population size estimates from a key staging area in Central Kazakhstan. Bird Conservation International 18: 71–86 [doi: 10.1017/S0959270908000087]


Other Publications

  • Hoppmanns H, Kamp J, Burkhard B (2016): Einfluss der Beweidung im Naturschutzgebiet Schleimündung: Reaktionen ausgewählter Brutvogelarten auf die Veränderung der Schilfflächen. Seevögel 37:16-20. Download
  • Donald  PF, Azimov N, Ball E, Green RE, Kamp J,  Kashkarov R, Kurbanov A, Rustamov E, Saparmuradov J, Sheldon R, Soldatov V, Ten A, Thorpe R, Underhill M, Urazaliyev R, Veyisov A (2016) Discovery of a globally important migration staging site for Sociable Lapwings Vanellus gregarius in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Sandgrouse 38: 82 - 95. Download
  • Stolbov VA, Kuzmin IA, Ivanov SA, Kamp J (2016) Northward shift of arthropod distribution ranges in the Tyumen and Kurgan provinces of Russia. Eurasian Entomological Journal 15:99-103
  • Kamp J (2013) Book review: ‘Birds of Central Asia’ by R. Aye, M. Schweizer and T.Roth. Ibis 155:681–682
  • Sheldon RD, Koshkin MA, Kamp J, Dereliev S, Donald PF, Jbour S (2012) International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius). CMS Technical Series No. 28, AEWA Technical Series No. 47. Bonn, Deutschland Download
  • Urazaliev R, Iskakov T, Kamp J (2012) Aggressive intraspecific behaviour in Black Larks Melanocorypha yeltoniensis in winter. British Birds 105: 40–42
  • Kamp J (2011) "The Amazing Journey" - der Zug des Steppenkiebitzes. Der Falke 58: 101–103 Download
  • Kamp J (2010) Große Trupps und starke Bejagung – Neues vom Steppenkiebitz. Der Falke 57: 113–115 Download
  • Kamp J, Sohni V (2008) Die Vogelwelt der Ostfriesischen Inseln. In: Niedringhaus R, Haeseler V, Janiesch P (Hrsg.) Die Flora und Fauna der Ostfriesischen Inseln. Schriftenreihe Nationalparkverwaltung Niedersächsisches Wattenmeer 11, Wilhelmshaven: 421–439   
  • Kamp J (2008) Forschung an einer weltweit bedrohten Vogelart – der Steppenkiebitz. Der Falke 55: 130–135 Download
  • Kamp J, Grishina KV (2008) Rooks killing adult Black-tailed Godwit. British Birds 101: 447
  • Kamp J (2007) Verbreitung, Bestand und Habitatnutzung des Mittelspechts Dendrocopos medius in NW-Niedersachsen. Vogelkundliche Berichte aus Niedersachsen 39: 77–96
  • Kamp J, Sohni V (2006) Habitat use and population densities of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius caucasicus in the NW Caucasus mountains (Russia). Vogelwelt 129: 69–75


Recent Conference Presentations

  • Kamp J (2015) Population collapse in the Yellow-breasted Bunting – lessons learnt for landbird research and conservation. Landbird Study Group symposium, Conference of the European Ornithologists Union  (EOU), Badajoz, Spain, 24–28/08/2015
  • Kamp J (2014) Post-soviet agricultural abandonment and recent recultivation: trade-offs between food production and biodiversity conservation. Symposium presentation, 2nd Open Science Meeting Global Land Project, Berlin, Germany, 19–21/03/2014
  • Fijen TPM, Kamp J, Lameris TK, Urazaliev RS, Kleijn D, Donald PF (2013) Why do birds use dung in and around nests? A case study on the Black Lark Melanocorypha yeltoniensis. Symposium presentation, 146th annual meeting of the Deutsche Ornithologen-Gesellschaft (DO-G), Regensburg, Germany 02–07/10/2013
  • Kamp J (2013) One step(pe) further east – conservation strategies for agricultural landscapes in Kazakhstan and Western Siberia. Invited Talk at “East meets West workshop", Göttingen, Germany, 13–15/02/2013
  • Kamp J, Urazaliev R, Salemgareev A, Donald PF, Brinkert A, Sidorova T, Hölzel N (2013) Agricultural change, biodiversity and future conservation strategies for the Eurasian steppes. Talk, International Conference “Conservation of steppe and semi-desert ecosystems in Eurasia”, Almaty, Kazakhstan, 13–14/03/2013