East Atlantic Flyway

inland waders

We conduct long-term demographic and tracking studies on Black-tailed Godwits migrating along the East Atlantic Flyway.


Since 2013 we have been tracking Black-tailed Godwits on their annual migrations.


An overview of our Netherlands-based research on the demography of Black-tailed Godwits can be found on our Black-tailed Godwit project website of the University of Groningen (“De Grutto Monitor 2016 & 2018”).

Iberia and West Africa

We also study Black-tailed Godwits in their non-breeding areas in southern Europe and Africa.
Since 2006, each year in February a large Global Flyway Network tea [...]
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East Atlantic Flyway

coastal waders

The East-Atlantic Flyway connects the Canadian and Russian Arctic, Europe and Africa. We study shorebirds along this Flyway in the key coastal areas, which are the Wadden Sea in Europe and the Banc d’Arguin and Archipelago dos Bijagòs in West Africa.
We follow the migration of Red Knots,d Bar-tailed Godwits and Whimbrel wearing ultralight solar-powered satellite transmitters.
These tracking projects are based at the Royal NIOZ, the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and conducted with collaborators in Portugal, Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau, and the University of Groningen.
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East Asian

Australasian flyway

Along the East Asian – Australasian Flyway we track shorebirds and their populations on their annual migrations to and from their Arctic breeding grounds.
On the ground we work in (1) the non-breeding areas in Roebuck Bay and along Eight Mile Beach in NW Australia and in New Zealand, and (2) the staging areas in Bohai Bay, China.
An important task we have set ourselves is tracking Bar-tailed Godwits, Great Knots and Red Knots to identify the crucial intertidal flats these birds use to fuel their long-haul migrations.
For updates on the work in Australia, please also explore the website of GFN Australia.

In the footsteps of E7!
With the 20 [...]
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West Asia

East African flyway

Between 2008 and 2018, an international team tracked Bar-tailed Godwits from Oman to find out more about their annual routines, because we virtually know nothing about how godwits use this Flyway.
In addition, the local habitat use was studied, by which the importance of the Barr Al Hikman ecosystem for species such as bar-tailed godwits was highlighted.
The project is a collaboration between experts from Radboud University, University of Groningen, Royal NIOZ, Wetlands International, along with independent researchers.
In 2018, the team published the book ‘Barr Al Hikman: shorebird paradise in Oman’, simultaneously in English and Arabic. [...]
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The American Flyways

Along the Americans Flyways, we currently collaborate  with Patricia González  from Fundacion Inalafquen, with Prof Juan Navedo and his group of the Bird Ecology Lab of the Universidad Austral de Chile, with Prof Francois Vézina of the Université du Québec à Rimouski, Québec, with Lee Tibbitts and Dan Ruthrauff of US Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center, and with Nathan Senner, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina (from January 2019).
Together we aim to contribute to knowledge about and conservation of migratory birds, especially Red Knots Calidris canutus, H [...]
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East Atlantic Flyway


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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 [...]
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