2009 Texel, Netherlands

Key Info

Conference Dates
18/09/09 — 21/09/09

The conference was held at the StayOkay Hostel in Den Burg. The conference organisers are very grateful to Triodos Bank, AEWA, Vogelbescherming andNIOZ for sponsorship of the conference. The Slender-billed Curlew workshop is sponsored by RSPB, and the Siberian Arctic Shorebirds workshop is sponsored by Boere Conservation Consultancy.


The three workshops were:

  1. web 2.0: connecting conservation and research
  2. Slender-billed Curlew – sponsored by RSPB
  3. Monitoring waders in the Siberian Arctic – sponsored by Boere Conservation Consultancy


Web 2.0: connecting conservation and research

Friday 18th September 2009, organised by Theunis Piersma and Jutta Leyrer

Abstract: Many, if not most, migratory wader populations are faced with serious threats commonly resulting from habitat destruction because human societies have other priorities than safeguarding wetlands. In order to protect wetland habitat successfully we need to have some level of understanding of the functioning of the ecosystems concerned and the needs (or even the status) of the migratory species involved. This knowledge is provided by those involved into ecological and biological research worldwide. Migratory waders use different habitats in different seasons on a global scale, a scale that yields complications for both conservation and research. Yet, there is no doubt that all these habitats are connected by the migrating waders and that their performance in one habitat is influenced by the conditions in other habitats.

In this workshop, we aim to focus on the conservation importance of basic research on the one hand, and problems with the use of research results by the globally active conservation organizations on the other. We thus want to bridge what often seems to be a communication gap between ‘active researchers’ and ‘operational conservationists’. Both conservation and research need to be long-term projects, and in the face of an increasing trend for short-term funding, a closer connection between these two branches is needed more than ever.

Workshop Outline:09:30 intro to the day; set up and aims

  • 09:45 talk: “Ecosystem science and conservation” by Han Olff, University of Groningen, NL (30 + 15 min)
  • 10:30 talk: “Processes in nature conservation politics – from collecting knowledge to influencing law-making decisions” by Barend van Gemerden, Vogelbescherming Nederland, NL (30 + 15 min)
  • 11:15 coffee & tea
  • 11:45 summary of 1st session – and start of discussion
  • 12:00 plenary discussion
  • 13:00 lunch
  • 14:00 examples – case study Yellow Sea / Seamangum by Danny Rogers or Ken Gosbell, Australian Wader Study Group, Australia (20 +10 min)
  • 14:30 examples – case study rufa Knot flyway / Delaware Bay by Patricia Gonzalez, GlobalFlywayNetwork, Argentina (20 + 10 min)
  • 15:00 coffee & tea
  • 15:30 viewpoint – communicating science to conservation and public by David Stroud, Joint Nature Conservation Committee JNCC, UK (20 + 10 min)
  • 16:00 viewpoint – communicating conservation politics to science and public by Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, Accra University, Ghana
  • 16:30 general discussion
  • 17:00 summary of the day

Slender-billed Curlews – sponsored by RSPB

Monday 21st September 2009, organised by Nicola Crockford and Graeme Buchanan

Abstract: The Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris is the rarest bird in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, following major declines from the second half of the 19th century onwards that were apparently due to both over hunting and habitat loss. The last verified record of this critically endangered species was of a single bird in Hungary in April 2001. A “last push” to find and save the bird before it is too late was launched in December 2008 by the Slender-billed Curlew Working Group www.slenderbilledcurlewnet.

The first priority is to undertake a comprehensive survey of the non-breeding range (from Morocco potentially as far east as Japan), especially wintering and potential moult sites, during 2009/2010, and beyond as necessary, with a view to satellite tagging. If research, such as on stable isotopes, can sufficiently narrow the search for the breeding grounds, then the survey may be extended to that area e.g. in 2010.

Besides stable isotope research, other lines of “forensic” research to try to determine where the remaining Slender-billed Curlews may be found include: analysis of location and timing of records, comparative morphology of Numenius taxa, comparisons with ecology and trends of other relevant declining waders, analysis of historical data on habitat preference and diet, assessment of distribution of current suitable habitat, studies on moult, sex ratios, trends in drought on the breeding grounds, trace elements, pollen, population genetic analysis and collecting photographs/wings of Numenius from hunters. The feasibility of captive breeding is an additional consideration.

  • Session 1 The Survey: methods, organisation, volunteers and capacity building
  • Session 2 Forensic and other research
  • Session 3 Protocol on catching, handling and tagging
  • Session 4 Protocol on ecological observations
  • Session 5 Confusion Numenius species

Monitoring waders in the Siberian Arctic – sponsored by Boere Conservation Consultancy

Monday 21st September 2009, organised by Bruno Ens and Hans Verdaat

Abstract: Large numbers of waders migrating along the East Atlantic and other Flyways depend on the Siberian arctic as a breeding area. In recent years, the monitoring effort of waders in the Siberian arctic has declined. Yet, monitoring effort should have increased, because it is almost certain that global climate change will increasingly impact these waders in the years to come. This observation is the starting point for this workshop. We hope to cover the following topics and questions:

  • The causes for the declining monitoring effort.
  • What did we learn from the monitoring efforts in the Siberian arctic so far?
  • How is monitoring organized in other parts of the arctic and what can we learn from those monitoring efforts?
  • Which phenomena can probably only explained by arctic breeding conditions and for which types of measurements do we really need to visit the Siberian arctic?
  • What are the most important topics that monitoring should address?
  • What is the most efficient way to organize the monitoring? Visit many different places in one season, or stay an entire season in one place?
  • What can we do to reverse the declining effort?

This is a last minute workshop and our list of topics is also a very last minute list. We are open to all suggestions and we invite everybody who is as concerned as we are about the current situation to join us in the discussion, and preferably prepare a presentation. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Conference abstracts can be found here