2020 Virtual Conference

Key Info

Conference Dates
10/10/20 — 11/10/20

Given the current circumstances around Covid-19, we have decided to postpone our anniversary meeting on the island of Sylt, Germany to 8-11 October 2021.

Postponing the Sylt conference does not mean we should skip a year of sharing knowledge and meeting each other:

We invite you to join a virtual conference on 10-11 October 2020.

Following other ornithological events, we will be using Zoom Webinar to host the meeting. Each registered delegate will receive a link to the conference on their email a few days before the event.

The conference attendance fee is €10. Any surplus made will be used to support the publishing of Wader Study.


If you have any questions regarding our annual meetings, please contact us via

To ensure a smooth running of the conference, we ask the conference presenters to pre-record their talks.

  1. The length of the pre-recorded talk is 12 minutes.
  2. After the talk, each presenter will have three minutes for live questions and discussion.
  3. The pre-recorded talk should be submitted latest on the 3rd of October to

You are free to use any presentation recording software to save your talk in a video format. For example, Zoom has the possibility to record presentations (Recording a presentation in Zoom). Another easy option is Microsoft Powerpoint, which has a similar functionality. Both of these applications allow for the concurrent recording of your slides and a video of you presenting.

Please submit your recorded talk to using file transfer services.

Please download the abstract book as a PDF.


Please download the conference programme in PDF or scroll down to have a look at it on this page.

















Our annual conference 2020 features two workshops:

1. Curlews on the move: Recent findings, knowledge gaps and future support for migration studies

2. Considering bioacoustics as a survey and research tool

Please see the timings of the workshops in the programme and scroll down for more info.


1. Curlews on the move: Recent findings, knowledge gaps and future support for migration studies

Context/ Summary – the AEWA Eurasian Curlew International Working Group (ECIWG) met in 2018 and agreed an activity plan for the period 2018-2021. The ECIWG consists of representatives of governments, species experts, conservation NGOs and hunting organisations.

The purpose of the activity plan is to identify discrete projects to help deliver the AEWA International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Eurasian Curlew. One of the planned activities is to “Share and collate information on ongoing, planned and completed satellite-tracking and colour-ringing of Eurasian Curlew amongst the IWG range states.” This workshop at the IWSG will help progress this activity.

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of projects utilising modern technologies – including satellite tags and geolocators – to better understand curlew movements. There are also several colour-marking projects, some of which have been running for decades.

These projects have greatly increased our understanding of curlew migration routes, ecology, phenology and demography. Yet there is much still to learn about Europe’s largest wader. This workshop will see several researchers share experiences, results and ideas from their respective projects, which span satellite-tagging, colour-marking and stable-isotope analysis of feathers.

The following discussion session will consider the pros and cons of the techniques discussed, what knowledge gaps remain, and how best to encourage, advise, and support new projects to maximise their contributions to Curlew conservation and management.

Details: Sunday 11th October at 13:30-15:30 Central European Summer Time.

Speakers: Sam Franks, Mark Wilson, Mike Smart, John Sanders, Helmut Krukenberg, Frédéric Jiguet, Phillip Schwemmer, Adjan de Jong.


2. Considering bioacoustics as a survey and research tool (sponsor workshop by Wildlife Acoustics)

This workshop will explore how bioacoustics can be used as a survey and research tool, either as a stand alone method or in conjunction with other techniques. The focus will be on deployment methods, best-practices for survey techniques, and data analysis. Case studies will be used to illustrate the benefits of using a wildlife audio recorder for projects such as individual species monitoring, species assemblage assessment, habitat health, citizen science and academic research.


Take part in a raffle to win a Song Meter Mini Wildlife Audio Recorder:




To honour our 50th anniversary, the conference team would like to show short videos and photos submitted by IWSG members during the conference breaks.

These could take the form of photos or video from fieldwork, previous IWSG conferences, habitats or birds or even interesting visualisation of data. Maybe you have some photos of a wader researcher or two back in time? Or a video of some interesting fieldwork?

If you would like to contribute then please send the following to

Photo or Video (<25MB total attachment size)
Date taken
Summary of content (2-3 sentences)

If you have content larger than the attachment limit, please use file transfer services to email the file(s) to us.