Enter your details:Hide
Remember me
No username? Sign-up here
Click to Log in or Sign-up
IWSG Banner. Photos by Jan van der Kam and Simon Gillings

Welcome to the International Wader Study Group

Share this page on Facebook
The International Wader Study Group is an organisation of enthusiastic professionals and amateurs researching waders, also called shorebirds. The involvement of the members of the IWSG in wader research ranges from observing waders in ones own ‘backyard’ to extensive, long-term studies aiming at a deeper understanding of spectacular wader phenomena like long-distance migration, living in extreme environments and variable reproductive strategies. Read more about us here...

Welcome to Estonia!

Registration for the 2014 conference is now c l o s e d!!!

It will be held in Haapsalu , Estonia, between 26 - 29 September 2014. Please follow this link for more information on how to get there.

Visit here to find the preliminary programme.

We are looking forward to seeing you all again in Haapsalu!

2014 Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Wader Study Group (IWSG) will be held at 9am on Saturday, 28 September 2014 during the Annual Conference Haapsalu Kultuurimaja (Haapsalu Cultural Cente), Haapsalu, Estonia.

Nominations for the election of Officers and other members of the Executive Committee may be made in writing to the General Secretary not less than 14 days before the AGM. Each nomination must be proposed and seconded by fully paid-up members and accompanied by the nominee's written consent.

- Apologies
- Minutes of the 2013 AGM
- Chair's report (Yvonne Verkuil)
- Treasurer's report for 2013 (David Turner)
- Auditors' report for 2013
- Membership Secretary's report (NN)
- Editor's report (Humphrey Sitters)
- International Wader Studies Coordinator's report (Piet van den Hout)
- Project Coordinator’s report (Simon Gillings)
- Conference Coordinator’s report (Jutta Leyrer)
- IWSG–Wetlands International Liaison Officer’s report (David Stroud)
- Colour Marking Officer’s report (Jim Wilson)
- Election of Members of the Executive Committee
- IWSG Conference 2015
- Any other business

Gregor Scheiffarth, National Park Administration for the Lower Saxon Wadden Sea, Virchowstr. 1, 26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Monitoring sanderling breeding success in 2012

juvenile sanderling by Jeroen Reneerkens

Dear sanderling observers,

In late summer 2012 we asked for your help by reporting the number of juveniles within sanderling flocks.

Here we provide a first overview of the results that we achieved together. You can find these in this poster.

Note, that this is just a preliminary report of the first main results. For now, we have now only used observations from mid October – mid November, when sanderlings have most certainly settled in their wintering quarters.
Your scores of juvenile percentages from before that period are still very valuable, because

1 juvenile percentages during the migration period could even better reflect reproductive success,

2 we need to ascertain whether mid October –mid November is indeed the optimal period to conduct such a survey and

3 we are interested in behavioural differences between adults and juveniles.

We want to thank all of you for your help and hope that we may count on your observations again this year!

If you are interested to help out, download this manual or get in touch with the project leader Jeroen Reneerkens for a manual in Dutch, German, French or Spanish.

With kind regards, Hilger Lemke & Jeroen Reneerkens

Are these spoon-billed sandpipers
on an estuary near you?

Nine spoon-billed sandpipers were artificially reared on the breeding grounds this summer and were released as juveniles. All migrated in mig-August and we hope that they will be seen on autumn migration or in winter. Each bird has a lime green leg flag with a single character engraved on it and a sinlge colour ring.

The chance that one of these will be seen is low but it would be fantastic if we did find them. All records of spoon-billed sandpipers are valuable, so please send them to Christoph Zöckler

There are still gaps in our knowledge of the migration routes and wintering areas, but with your help we will fill them.

Assistance asked to determine sanderlings' breeding success

juvenile sanderling by Jeroen Reneerkens

In August-September 2012 many observers have reported exceptionally high numbers of juvenile sanderlings (and other Arctic waders).
To document whether the breeding season indeed has been exceptional for the species, we ask for your help. A proper description of sanderling's breeding success is only possible when performed on a large spatial scale. With your help we can perform an outstanding unprecedented job.

If you are interested to help out, download this manual or get in touch with the project leader Jeroen Reneerkens for a manual in Dutch, German, French or Spanish.
We will put up more information soon.
More background information can be found in a recent contribution in the Wader Study Group Bulletin (Wader Study Group Bull. 119(2): 129–132).

juvenile sanderlings by Jeroen Reneerkens

The IWSG won the 2012 AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award!

To our flock mates around the globe - this is yours!

During the 5th session of the Meeting of the Parties to AEWA (African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement) in La Rochelle, France, from 14 to 18 May 2012, the IWSG received the 2012 AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award.


General Secretary of the IWSG Gregor Scheiffarth accepting the award (Øystein Størkersen (r), AWEA Standing Committee Chair)

"We, the International Wader Study Group are extremely honoured to receive the AEWA Conservation Award. This award recognises a group of volunteers, professionals and amateurs who form a world-wide network connecting all continents and many cultures. For more than 40 years, this group has worked towards wader conservation, through collecting and synthesising information on waders and helping to protect their critical habitats.

On their biannual migrations, waders need functional wetlands to use as stepping stones, where they can collect the reserves necessary for their incredible long-distance journeys. As they travel from continent to continent, birds are unaware of human, political boundaries. However, researchers, subject to these limitations may be left holding various pieces of a larger puzzle they cannot see. Therefore, international collaboration is essential to view all of the processes connecting the life cycles of these birds. The community of the International Wader Study Group fosters these connections between people working on the same topics in different parts of the world, and many fruitful co-operations have emerged from this community.

Achievements in conservation of waterbirds have been made in some parts of the world, for example in the flyways covered by AEWA. Despite this, wetlands are disappearing worldwide at rates faster than seen in any other ecosystems. Wetlands are declining not only in number and size, but also in quality, further reducing the resources waterbirds need for their survival. A striking example of a vast decline in wetlands is the Yellow Sea area where up to 50% of the tidal mudflats have been lost in just the last 10 years. This jeopardises the persistence of a number of threatened waterbird species, including the nearly-extinct Spoon-billed Sandpiper. But even in the well-protected European Wadden Sea, which is a World Heritage Site, the population of a common wader, the Oystercatcher, is declining. Worryingly, the reasons for this decline are largely unknown.

Just the examples of the Yellow Sea and the Wadden Sea show that many efforts are still needed to halt the decline in wetlands all over the world.

The IWSG standpoint is that effective conservation can only be achieved through sound knowledge of wader ecology. In the future, we will further instigate and support high quality, global monitoring systems. We will promote that the data showing what is going on with populations is up-to-date, and accessible to everybody concerned. More importantly, we will promote fundamental ecological work that demonstrates the processes linking habitat loss or degradation with population declines. With this knowledge, actions that focus on the major issues can clearly be defined.

This award will encourage the members of the IWSG to enthusiastically continue working toward their common goal: providing waders with the environment they deserve. Thank you!"

For more details see the AEWA press release.

Red Knot in danger

Reclamation projects in Bohai Bay threatens two subspecies of Red Knots (Calidris canutus piersmai and C. c. rogersi)! Read more about this in articles recently published in Wingspan, Emu and Bird Conservation International

Red Knot by Jan Van De Kam

Sanderling marathon

A sanderling, with a departure weight of just over 100g, has flown the 6,000km from Norway to Ghana in less than five days. The bird was photographed on 11 August 2009 in chilly, damp South Norway. On 16 August a Ghanaian biologist spotted him under the coconut palms on Esiama beach. The sanderling was recognized by the coloured rings on its legs. Biologists from the University of Groningen and the University of Ghana in Accra gave the birds coloured leg rings to learn more about how they live and their survival chances. You can read more about this story here and about the IWSG Sanderling Project here

Sanderling by Bjorn Erik Hellang

Report of our meeting in Scotland

This year, the Highland Ringing Group (HRG) hosted the conference between 23 and 27 September 2011 in Strathpeffer, 20 km northwest of Inverness, Scotland.

Read more here

WSG Bulletin volume 121 issue 1 published!

latest WSG Bulletin

Membership 2014

Not yet paid your membership fee for 2014? Pay your annual subscription fee online. For more info, click here

Please find here our recent

Also available are the treasurer's report 2012 and the unaudited financial statement 2012

IWSG ~ shorebird research and conservation

Contact Webmaster: