Bridging flyways

Shorebirds, as most migratory animals, respond strongly to change. Studying migratory shorebirds almost invariably means encountering population declines and environmental threats. Facing those threats and declines can be frustrating but also creates creative energy to do research that will have a positive impact. Therefore, we incorporate understanding drivers of change in our research; and thereby we create chances to prevent and reverse negative trends.

Our research generates general and specific advice for conservation, but also optimism and beautiful stories, connecting countries & cultures. Especially the tracking devices we use to follow our birds haven proven to be enigmatic ‘multipurpose’ tools. The tracks of individual migrants (1) spawn compassion and awareness, (2) reveal (unknown) key habitats, and (3) result in ground-breaking scientific insights.

Bar-tailed Godwits in the end of March, Golden Bay, New Zealand. These birds connect Alaska, where they breed, with New Zealand where they spend their non-breeding seasons, in the same local estuary each year. A champion in connecting countries & cultures. Photo: Jan van de Kam

What we concretely do with our research outcomes

We are connected to, and collaborate with, relevant organisations for the conservation of nature and landscapes. This includes governments (from regional to international), conservation organisations such as BirdLife International, WWF, and intergovernmental bodies such as IUCN and AEWA.

We provide narratives of our research results and make knowledge available that match public debate, supports targeted conservation actions, or supports concerns raised by policy makers or conservation advocates.

Our outreach to inform the debate and action is ongoing. We aim for repeated, positive and (if possible) non-confrontational exposure to relevant science through lecturing for general and targeted audiences, attending debates, and making our work available on online media such this website  and through Twitter @GlobalFlyway.