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The 21st April was World Curlew Day and it was really great to see the conservation efforts being celebrated and shared in the media to recognise the plight of this species but also highlighting the international collaborations that will be needed to save this species. I have also been watching with great interest the live news about the migration of the curlews that have been tagged on the Wash estuary in the UK this year and as ever, receiving many sightings of our black-tailed godwits as they return from west Africa through Europe and onto England to breed.

What this highlights to me is that the waders we all love have absolutely no idea about the international boundaries that they may cross as they move to and from their breeding and wintering areas. This causes me to reflect on those species which may be migrating through or, are resident in countries affected by the war in Ukraine. I have recently read a rather sobering document which was outlining the potential impacts of the war on birds in Ukraine which is home to 434 species, 18 globally threatened birds, 19 species for which the country hosts more than 15% of the European population and 141 Important Bird Areas covering 2.5 million hectares. The predictions of large-scale habitat loss and degradation, local extinctions, increased disturbance, pollution and hunting were stark but at the same time, I was inspired by the fact that amidst the war, conservationists in Ukraine are already thinking about the future needs of their species in their country and the role that nature will play in healing their country and people. I just want to say to all of our Wader Study group members affected by the war, that we are thinking about you, we hope you are all safe and once this war is over, which we hope will be very soon, our thoughts can turn to how we use our international networks and collaborations to help the global conservation effort that will be required.

Jennifer Smart Chair of the International Wader Study Group
Message from Jennifer Smart, Chair of the IWSG, on the war in Ukraine

The 21st April was World Curlew Day and it was really great to see the conservation efforts being celebrated and shared in the media to recognise the plight of this species but also highlighting the international collaborations that will be needed to save this species. I have also been watching with great interest the live news about the migration of the curlews that have been tagged on the Wash estuary in the UK this year and as ever, receiving many sightings of our black-tailed godwits as they

By Deborah Buehler People catch shorebirds for many reasons; some for research and study, others as a supplemental food source. The Caribbean coast is rich in birdlife, and all along this coast, including the islands and the northern shores of South America, shorebirds have been hunted for food. This cultural tradition has gone on for centuries. For some people, it is a practical way to make ends meet, but others worry about whether the hunting affects shorebird populations. How many birds are currently being hunted? Are the numbers high enough to affect shorebirds populations? These are big questions, and they cannot be answered in a single study. However, a first step is understanding the extent of shorebird hunting in any given location. Guyana is a country where shorebird hunting is legal and there are no limits on the number of birds that can be harvested. Though the country does have laws that protect its wild birds, the Wild Birds Protection Act focuses on resident species and does not provide protections for migratory shorebirds. What is not known is when and to what extent people exercise their right to hunt shorebirds and whether the hunting is intense enough to impact shorebird populations. In this issue of Wader Study, Brad Andres and colleagues assess the current prevalence and magnitude of hunting and selling migratory shorebirds along the coast of Guyana.1 They also compare species composition and harvest levels to other jurisdictions in the Caribbean and northern South America to understand the larger context of shorebird hunting throughout the region. [caption id="attachment_16006" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Coastline of East Berbice, Guyana. (photo: Leon Moore)[/caption] Guyana is a tropical country located in South America between Venezuela and Suriname. Its coastal plain occupies only about 10% of the country’s area, yet 90% of its population lives there. A small portion of this population hunts shorebirds as part of the bounty the coast provides. The primary method for hunting shorebirds on the Guyanese coast is known locally as “shocking”, and the authors described its practitioners as “shockers”. As part of her 2005 Bachelor’s thesis research, Annalise Bayney confirmed the continued use of this method in the new millennium and provided a description of how shocking is conducted.2 A 12- to 15-meter length of stiff wire is attached to a short stick inserted into the sand or mud. As a flock of birds skims the surface of the shore, the wire is pulled taut horizontally, cutting into the flock. The tension of the wire kills the birds, sometimes removing appendages in the process. [caption id="attachment_16007" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Hunting using the “shocking” technique. A vertical stick is used to pull a horizontal wire taunt as birds take off from the mudflat. (photo: Leon Moore)[/caption] Andres and colleagues returned to the 55 sites that Bayney surveyed in her earlier study and added five additional sites, to document continued shorebird hunting over the last two decades. Between August–October 2017 and October–November 2018, they visited 60 sites. At each site, they assessed potential shorebird habitat (e.g., mudflats/sand flats versus mangroves) and, if the site was suitable, counted the number of shorebirds present and the species composition of the flocks. The researchers also searched for evidence of hunting. If they didn’t see hunting directly, they asked local community members about their knowledge of current hunting activity in the area. The researchers returned in 2020, to focus on sites where they had documented hunting in 2017 and 2018. They visited sites every two weeks on Fridays and weekends between late August and early November. The choice of time of the week was intentional. Markets, where shorebirds might be sold, operate on weekends. During the 2020 field season, the researchers interviewed shorebird hunters at two sites and vendors at a local market. They used a questionnaire adapted from one used previously to interview shorebird harvesters in Brazil, French Guiana, and Suriname. All interviewees provided informed consent to be interviewed, remained anonymous, and were interviewed by Guyanese nationals. To analyse and extrapolate the interview data, the researchers employed a statistical method – Bayesian hierarchical modelling – that can integrate observed data and uncertainty across several different levels of observation. This analysis allowed them to estimate the number of active hunting groups and the number of birds killed at the study sites on days when the researchers were not physically there to make observations. Results indicated that only 28 of the 60 sites visited by the researchers still contained habitat suitable for shorebirds. Of the sites where suitable habitat was still present, the researchers focused on the 19 sites where the most shorebirds were found, to study species composition and temporal trends. They detected 18 species of shorebird. Small Calidris sandpipers made up 92.6% of all shorebirds counted and the majority of these were Semipalmated Sandpipers Calidris pusilla. Other species that made up more than 1% of the total count were Tringa sandpipers (mainly Lesser Yellowlegs T. flavipes) and Semipalmated Plovers Charadrius semipalmatus. In terms of hunting, the shocking method was detected at six of the 60 sites visited in 2017–2018, and shooting, as an alternative method of hunting, was also observed at one of these six sites. The researchers also recorded shocking in an abandoned rice field, now used to farm shrimp, where flooded fields attract resting shorebirds during high tide. This site was not one of the six study sites where shocking was detected, but rather an additional and opportunistic observation, and the only site where shorebirds were hunted away from the shoreline. When surveying the markets, the researchers found shorebirds for sale at the Mon Repos and Port Mourant markets in 2017– 2018, with up to 1,000 shorebirds being sold on one occasion. In 2020, the researchers observed shocking on a regular basis at two sites and, at much lower levels than found in 2017–2018, at a third site. They also found shorebirds for sale at the Port Mourant market. These results suggest that shorebird hunting decreased between the surveys done in 2005 and this current study. In Bayney’s 2005 study, hunting was recorded at 40 of 55 sites (73%) compared to only six of 60 (10%) of sites in 2017–2018. However, a large part of this decrease is likely due to the fact that the Guyanese coastline changed dramatically in the last decades, greatly decreasing the amount of suitable shorebird habitat. More than half (53%) of the sites visited in 2017–2018 no longer provided suitable habitat for shorebirds due to mangrove forestation, erosion, or sand deposition. What is relevant then, is the hunting recorded at sites where shorebird habitat was available, hence six of 28 sites (21%) in 2017–2018. Even taking this into account, there is still a decrease, and the authors point out that socio-economic or cultural factors beyond the scope of their study might have contributed. However, they warn that direct comparison across time is tenuous because survey methods differed between their study and Bayney’s. What they did say with certainty, is that shorebird hunting has not increased in Guyana in the last two decades. In addition to shorebird counts and recording instances of hunting, the researchers interviewed 10 shockers in 2020. All of those interviewed said that they only harvested shorebirds during fall migration and used the shorebirds they killed for personal consumption. Some additionally said that they sold shorebirds directly to local restaurants or to other people in the community, but none said that they supplied shorebirds to commercial vendors at the Port Mourant market. Nevertheless, in 2020 the researchers found at least 13 species of shorebird for sale at Port Mourant. [caption id="attachment_16008" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Shorebirds for sale at the Port Mourant market. (photos: Leon Moore)[/caption] The species for sale reflected the composition of species found in the counts conducted along the coast. The birds for sale were mainly small Calidris sandpipers, but also larger species such as Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca, Black-bellied Plovers Pluvialis squatarola, and Whimbrels Numenius phaeopus. This makes sense since, as a hunting method, shocking is effective for small and large shorebirds alike. Given that the shockers interviewed in 2020 did not sell shorebirds to the markets, yet the researchers found shorebirds for sale at the market in abundance, the field study clearly could not measure all instances of shorebird hunting or selling. Models, however, were able to extrapolate the information gathered during interviews and to estimate that approximately 37,000 shorebirds were harvested at two sites and sold in one market during the 2020 study period. Given the limited scale of the study in 2020, the total harvest along Guyana’s entire coast was undoubtedly greater. The magnitude of harvest in Guyana is second only to Suriname and exceeds that of all Caribbean islands combined. 3 The lack of a national policy to regulate this harvest is a challenge to sustainable hunting in Guyana and ultimately throughout the region. This broader context is important because each country is a link in the chain that is a migrant’s journey. Migrating shorebirds are subject to the policies of all of the countries they visit, sequentially. Watts and Turin provided a synthesis of hunting policies across the Western Atlantic Flyway.4 Even if each country sets sustainable limits, the cumulative number of individuals killed along an entire migratory route – the collective harvest – might be too high.5 Andres and colleagues show that shorebird hunting in Guyana is significant and may account for a substantial portion of mortality from hunting in the Caribbean and northern South America. Laws that limit or ban shorebird hunting would help to sustain shorebird populations; however, people have reasons for hunting shorebirds. What would the social and financial consequences be for local people? Though the shocking method for hunting is lethal, the researchers found strings of live birds sold by vendors in the market. Those birds were likely netted – a non-lethal way of catching birds. Can hunting skills be repurposed in a way that saves birds, helps science, and still contributes to the livelihood of locals? This study does not answer these questions, and the authors acknowledge that more research is needed to understand the social aspects of shorebird hunting and its economic impact. Science builds knowledge, study after study, and for shorebird conservation to work, it must respect the needs of local hunters, vendors and conservationists.
  1. Andres, B.A., L. Moore, A.R. Cox, B. Frei & C. Roy. 2022. A preliminary assessment of shorebird harvest in coastal Guyana. Wader Study 129(1): 39–47.
  2. Bayney, A. 2005. The effect of birding on local and migrant waterfowl populations along the coast of Guyana. Bachelor’s Thesis, University of Guyana, Guyana.
  3. AFSI Harvest Working Group. 2020. Actions for the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative’s Shorebird Harvest Working Group 2020–2025. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Program, Falls Church, VA, USA.
  4. Watts, B. D. & C. Turrin. 2016. Assessing Hunting Policies for Migratory Shorebirds throughout the Western Hemisphere. Wader Study 123(1): 6-15.
  5. Watts, B. D., E. T. Reed & C. Turrin. 2015. Estimating sustainable mortality limits for shorebirds using the Western Atlantic Flyway. Wader Study 122(1): 37–53.
PDF of this article   Featured image: Semipalmated Sandpiper, Nome - Alska June 2017. ©Mick Thompson/Eastside Audubon.
Spotlight: Shorebird Hunting in Guyana

By Deborah Buehler People catch shorebirds for many reasons; some for research and study, others as a supplemental food source. The Caribbean coast is rich in birdlife, and all along this coast, including the islands and the northern shores of South America, shorebirds have been hunted for food. This cultural tradition has gone on for centuries. For some people, it is a practical way to make ends meet, but others worry about whether the hunting affects shorebird populations. How many birds are

We are pleased to annouce the results of the first IWSG T-shirt competition! We had a wonderful range of designs sent in and thought it was a tough decision, the ExCo Judging panel voted that Chris Heward's "Vanellus" design was the winner! This design can be found on both a standard and fitted style of t-shirt and on a tote bag. Chris will be getting one of these t-shirts himself and has won a year's members to the IWSG.   [caption id="attachment_15899" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Chris Heward created this design for our winter 2021 IWSG t-shirt contest and won! He was declared the outright winner and we thank him for his faboulous design.[/caption] In second place is Alex Dodds with her "Hidden Waders", a wonderfully clever design that the judging panel really liked too. Again this design can be found on standard and fitted t-shirt as well as a tote bag. Alex will be winning a copy of her design on a tote bag as runner up. [caption id="attachment_15902" align="aligncenter" width="330"] This is the running up design by Alex Dodds and shows her lovely use of perspective to hide a world of waders into the outline of another.[/caption]   There were so many lovely designs in this completitions that we've decided to also put up three other designs that were Highly Commended by the panel. These are (in no particular order): Shawkat Khan's "Wader Group", Camilo Carneiro's "Whimbrel" and Marc Giles' "Plover Lover". [caption id="attachment_15905" align="aligncenter" width="330"] From left to right, winners of our inaugural t-shirt design competition run during the winter of 2021-2022: 'Whimbrel' design by Camilo Carneiro, 'Wader Group' by Shawkat Khan and 'Plover Lover' by Marc Gilles.[/caption] Please visit our Teemill website to see the final designs and we hope you are tempted to buy one (or two!): https://waderstudygroup.teemill.com/collection/iwsg-t-shirt-competition-winter-2021/
Results of the IWSG t-shirt competition

We are pleased to annouce the results of the first IWSG T-shirt competition! We had a wonderful range of designs sent in and thought it was a tough decision, the ExCo Judging panel voted that Chris Heward's "Vanellus" design was the winner! This design can be found on both a standard and fitted style of t-shirt and on a tote bag. Chris will be getting one of these t-shirts himself and has won a year's members to the IWSG.   In second place is Alex Dodds with her "Hidden Waders", a

by Deborah Buehler originally published in Wader Study 128(3) It’s hard to ignore climate change these days. Heatwaves are hotter, floods are fiercer, and some part of the planet is always on fire. In the Arctic, ecosystems based on snow, ice and permafrost are disappearing. These habitats are important breeding grounds for many migratory bird species, particularly waders, and they are vanishing before scientists can determine what the birds need most to survive. Breeding waders are notoriously difficult to study because their nests are well camouflaged and spread out over huge swaths of largely inaccessible tundra. This is where technological advances can help. In this issue of Wader Study, Hoefs and colleagues combine powerful machine-learning algorithms with remote sensing data to build a statistical model that can predict the breeding distribution of the Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus in northern Sweden.1 Dotterels are medium-sized waders with striking white eye-stripes and a dove-like appearance. They breed on Arctic or alpine tundra from Scotland to western Alaska, then migrate south to non-breeding areas from North Africa to Iran. [caption id="attachment_15867" align="aligncenter" width="330"] A pair of Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus in the tundra of northern Sweden. (photo: Christian Hoefs).[/caption] Like many wader species, Dotterel populations are declining, and this species is especially vulnerable because it is specialized to a narrow ecological niche. This same quality makes it an ideal species to study using machine-learning based algorithms. Hoefs and colleagues wanted to use such algorithms to build maps showing where suitable habitat for Dotterels is located. They also wanted to determine which environmental variables, in freely-available remote sensing data, best predicted where Dotterels breed. To do this they used a statistical technique called maximum entropy (or MaxEnt) modelling. MaxEnt is a method that can predict where birds and other organisms are most likely to be located (their distribution) using limited field data. While most predictive methods need to be trained on input about both where the organisms usually are (presence) and where they are not (absence), MaxEnt requires presence data only.2 This is good news, because it is easier to gather reliable data on presence than absence. For example, finding a bird, or a nest, definitively indicates presence, but not finding a nest, amid a huge swath of tundra, doesn’t necessarily mean the birds aren’t there. To gather presence data, the researchers surveyed two study areas (~10 km² in total) in the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve in Swedish Lapland several times during each breeding season from 2016 to 2018. Each visit lasted a full day and a team of three to six people walked through the area in systematic lines regularly scanning with binoculars for birds displaying or showing breeding behavior. This work resulted in a dataset of 23 Dotterel nests and 156 locations where birds were found exhibiting breeding behavior. In the world of statistical modelling, this is a relatively small dataset. The researchers also knew that they were searching for birds in locations that were, necessarily, more accessible to humans (biased sampling) and therefore tended to have similar characteristics (spatial autocorrelation). Luckily, the MaxEnt method can handle small datasets2 and biased sampling effort, as long the minimum distance between presence points is set to a coarser scale than predictor variables.3 To meet this requirement, the researchers excluded presence points that were less than 300m apart. This avoided overrepresenting the habitat preferences of birds in more intensively searched areas. MaxEnt modelling also requires a set of environmental variables that describe the suitability of the environment for the species. For this, Hoefs and colleagues used Sentinel-2A satellite data. They needed temporal correspondence between the environmental data and the period when parents raise their chicks, so they used data from July 2018, around the egg hatching date of Dotterels in the area. The satellite data yielded vegetation metrics, texture metrics (grey level textures that show similarities or differences in contrast), and topographic variables. The next step was to determine which of the over 200 environmental variables would provide the best combination of predictors. Often, researchers pre-select variables based on expert knowledge about the biology of the species. But newer techniques, which include everything and then filter to a subset of highly contributing variables, perform better.4 The researchers chose this second approach and started with a model that included all available variables. To prune this model, they first removed variables that contributed less than 2%. Then they identified the best-performing variable and removed all variables that were correlated with that variable (the variables change together in similar ways), then repeated with the second-best performing variable and so forth. This process trimmed the set of 211 environmental variables to seven uncorrelated and highly contributing predictors. The researchers now had everything they needed to predict the location of suitable habitat for Dotterel. They used MaxEnt to find the probability distribution of maximum entropy (the most spread out) by comparing known locations of presence against 8,000 background samples randomly distributed over the entire nature reserve to represent potentially unsuitable habitats. The model and maps predicted that about 1% of the total area of the nature reserve (about 60 km²) is suitable habitat for Dotterel. The researchers built and tested their model based on a well-surveyed study area of about 10 km² with about 30 breeding pairs of Dotterel. Extrapolating, this predicts a breeding population of about 180 pairs in the entire nature reserve. Scientists are a skeptical bunch, and the researchers wondered if their model could be trusted. After all, the algorithm chose predictor variables like Chlorophyll Vegetation Index and S08 TM Difference Variance 200 m sd that mean little to humans, whereas other variables like altitude, slope, and exposure, were excluded. To check the model’s results for accuracy against the real world, the authors went back to the field in June 2019 and conducted surveys in areas that the model predicted as suitable Dotterel habitat. They also checked the model against 47 presence locations collected through an independent annual survey conducted in the reserve. The model performed well in the sense that birds were found where they were predicted to be. This result gives some confidence that the variables chosen, and the habitats predicted, by machine-learning are actually important to Dotterels. It also makes sense remembering that the selected variables were highly correlated with things that humans already know are important to Dotterels. The chosen variables might mean less to humans, but they are better predictors of the habitats that Dotterels truly need. Could this approach also work with other species? Perhaps, though the authors caution that this type of modelling is particularly well suited to species, like Dotterel, with very specific habitat requirements and that predictive power might be lower for generalist species. That said, we need all the tools we can get. We are facing serious challenges with climate change and we’re going to have to rely on technology to help. With appropriate validation, species distribution models combined with climate change models might allow us to better predict shifts in suitable breeding habitat and changes in population size for Arctic-breeding birds of conservation concern. This study spotlights the potential power of technology, but also reminds us that technology has limits. The authors were careful to work within those limits and to test the technology against known information before relying on it. We need real-life data to train and ground-truth models. Machines can learn, but humans still need to decide what to teach them, and to interpret what they tell us.   1Hoefs, C., T. van der Meer, P. Antkowiak, J. Hagge, M. Green & J. Gottwald. 2021. Exploring the Dotterel Mountains: Improving the understanding of breeding habitat characteristics of an Arctic-breeding specialist bird. Wader Study 128: 226–237. 2Phillips, S.J., R.P. Anderson & R.E. Schapire. 2006. Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling 190: 231–259. 3Fourcade, Y., J.O. Engler, D. Rödder & J. Secondi. 2014. Mapping species distributions with MAXENT using a geographically biased sample of presence data: a performance assessment of methods for correcting sampling bias. PLoS ONE 9: e97122. 4Zeng, Y., B.W. Low & D.C.J. Yeo. 2016. Novel methods to select environmental variables in MaxEnt: A case study using invasive crayfish. Ecological Modelling 341: 5–13.   PDF version of this article is available for download here   Featured Image: Dotterel, Charadrius morinellus, June 2017 ©Hans Norelius from Älvsjö, Sweden.
Spotlight: MaxEnt Modelling the Dotterel Mountains

by Deborah Buehler originally published in Wader Study 128(3) It’s hard to ignore climate change these days. Heatwaves are hotter, floods are fiercer, and some part of the planet is always on fire. In the Arctic, ecosystems based on snow, ice and permafrost are disappearing. These habitats are important breeding grounds for many migratory bird species, particularly waders, and they are vanishing before scientists can determine what the birds need most to survive. Breeding waders are

ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science is happy to announce the V. ÉLVONAL conference “Social behaviour, demography and conservation in shorebirds” during 14–15 January 2022, which will be held as an online meeting. Find attached the conference leaflet as well as the advert to the current PhD position within ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science project: The conference will focus on current achievements and future plans of ÉLVONAL teams across the globe and will be enriched with targeted webinars. Any researcher, conservationist or student interested in breeding ecology of shorebirds can use this opportunity to join us from anywhere and discuss recent advances in the field. The conference participation is free of charge and registration is open until 31 December 2021. You can register here: https://forms.gle/rxpGkt7yrTra6PqE9 We are looking forward to meeting you online! Vojtěch Kubelka (on the behalf of the organizing team)   Featured image: Puna Plover (Charadrius alticola) together with wintering Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii) at Andean altiplano in Peru. © Vojtěch Kubelka
V. ÉLVONAL Conference – virtual event and PhD position advert

ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science is happy to announce the V. ÉLVONAL conference “Social behaviour, demography and conservation in shorebirds” during 14–15 January 2022, which will be held as an online meeting. Find attached the conference leaflet as well as the advert to the current PhD position within ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science project: V-ELVONAL conference 14-15 January 2022_flyer South Bohemia_CZ_PhD_Breeding ecology The conference will focus on current achievements and future plans of

On behalf of Thomas Lameris & Jeroen Reneerkens  
Dear fellow shorebird researchers, We would like to ask for your assistance in a project, where we aim to analyse how chick growth rates of shorebird species worldwide are impacted by changing climatic conditions. Project background and aim Unusual freezing conditions around the globe during this past winter, followed by record-high temperatures in large parts of the Arctic this spring, again form an example that the globe's climate will be more and more governed by extremes. Vulnerability of shorebirds populations to this changing climate has been predicted from modelling efforts, as well as shown by changes in reproductive success and body size for individual populations. It is likely that birds are especially vulnerable to effects of a warming climate and climatic extremes in early life, during the period of chick growth. We would like to initiate a project to compare chick growth rates in all shorebird species, where we want to make comparisons between species, populations / study sites and years, to study how variation in growth rate is possibly explained by climatic variation. For example, we expect that chick growth rate will be lower when chicks face temperatures below or above their thermoneutral zone, or during extreme climatic conditions such as prolonged periods of rainfall. We hope that this project can give us insights into the vulnerability of shorebirds to a warming climate, and whether species and populations may differ in their vulnerability. Request for data We are looking for data on biometrics (body mass, tarsus length, wing length, etc.) measured for shorebird chicks of any shorebird species. While data collected for chicks with known hatch dates is especially helpful, we consider any data to be useful for this project. We are interested in data from all shorebird species, and from as many study sites, populations and years as possible. This means that any data are valuable, also older data and data collected at atypical sites. We want to use these data specifically to answer the research question outlined above, which is expected to result in one, multi-authored publication, to which collaborators sharing data are invited as co-authors. We consider that data on food availability for chicks (e.g. data on arthropod abundance) is an important explanatory variable when studying chick growth. While we first want to focus on a large-scale comparison in relation to climatic variables only, we consider that a second step would be a comparison with data on food availability. If you have such data available for your population, please let us know and we will get in touch with you on this. Also, if you happen to know the existence of (unpublished) data by others, please forward this message and/or let us know. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments. Best wishes, Thomas Lameris (thomaslameris@gmail.com) & Jeroen Reneerkens (jeroen.reneerkens@nioz.nl)
Request for collaboration: chick growth rates & climatic conditions

On behalf of Thomas Lameris & Jeroen Reneerkens   Dear fellow shorebird researchers, We would like to ask for your assistance in a project, where we aim to analyse how chick growth rates of shorebird species worldwide are impacted by changing climatic conditions. Project background and aim Unusual freezing conditions around the globe during this past winter, followed by record-high temperatures in large parts of the Arctic this spring, again form an example that the globe's climate will

The IWSG Small Project Grants Committee have decided to extend the deadline for application to 15th December 2021. With this grant we aim to support shorebird studies that otherwise will not go ahead. This could be all sorts of projects related to waders (shorebirds): ecological and/or conservation research, pilot studies looking at biological aspects of a single or a few species, or counts of staging birds at unexplored sites. Or something completely different! Application is open for IWSG members who have a project idea that could be undertaken if supported with a small amount of money (currently 1000 Euros per project). About the grant: IWSG Small Projects Grants The application form: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/IWSG-grant-application_28112018_form-Word.doc   The IWSG Small Grant Committee Yahkat Barshep, Birgita Hansen, Nils Warnock, Vojtěch Kubelka and Jannik Hansen   Featured image: Common Redshank Tringa totanus, April 2017, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, USA. ©Christoph Müller.
Extended deadline for IWSG Small Project Grant applications

The IWSG Small Project Grants Committee have decided to extend the deadline for application to 15th December 2021. With this grant we aim to support shorebird studies that otherwise will not go ahead. This could be all sorts of projects related to waders (shorebirds): ecological and/or conservation research, pilot studies looking at biological aspects of a single or a few species, or counts of staging birds at unexplored sites. Or something completely different! Application is open for IWSG

This year, we’d like to encourage you to get your artistic talents flowing by sending in your best designs to go on a T-shirt for IWSG! Currently we only have a few designs in our Teemill shop and we’d love to add to them with ideas from the wider wader and shorebird community. The winner of the competition will win a t-shirt with their design PLUS a year’s members to IWSG whilst the runner up will get a tote bag with their design. All shortlisted designs will be included on our Teemill shop. All proceeds from the sale of bags or clothing will be used to support the running of IWSG. Competition Rules: - Open to all over 18 who are part of the wider wader/shorebird community - Any design will be accepted as long as it has a wader on it, space for the IWSG logo (which can be small) and on a white background - Meaningful text regarding waders will be considered for inclusion. - Enter on which ever artistic medium suits – pencil and paper, water colours, PowerPoint, Photoshop but you will need to be able to scan the final image. Lines must be thick enough to see when printed on fabric (~2mm+) How to enter: - Send a scan of your final design with your name, email & the subject line “IWSG T-shirt Comp” to membership@waderstudygroup.org - Up to 3 entries per person are allowed and should be original and unique artwork - Closing date – midnight 23:59 GMT 1st January 2022. Full Terms and Conditions
Design a T-shirt for IWSG!

This year, we’d like to encourage you to get your artistic talents flowing by sending in your best designs to go on a T-shirt for IWSG! Currently we only have a few designs in our Teemill shop and we’d love to add to them with ideas from the wider wader and shorebird community. The winner of the competition will win a t-shirt with their design PLUS a year’s members to IWSG whilst the runner up will get a tote bag with their design. All shortlisted designs will be included on our Teemill

The IWSG Small Projects Grants aim to support shorebird studies that otherwise will not go ahead. This could be all sorts of projects related to waders (shorebirds): ecological and/or conservation research, pilot studies looking at biological aspects of a single or a few species, or counts of staging birds at unexplored sites. Or something completely different! Application is open for IWSG members who have a project idea that could be undertaken if supported with a small amount of money (currently 1000 Euros per project). In the below link you can find a description of criteria and the application form. The IWSG Executive Committee has appointed an evaluation committee that will judge the applications, and decide which project will be awarded. Application form: IWSG Small Project Grants Call Applications should be submitted by December 1st 2021, and a decision will be made before 1st of May 2022. Details on the previous recipients of the IWSG Small Grants there: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/projects/small-grants/   [caption id="attachment_15049" align="aligncenter" width="330"]Photo: Carolina Davila Sandra Giner & Virginia Sanz won the 2021 IWSG Small Project Grant to carry out shorebird survey in Margarita Island, Venezuela. ©Carolina Davila[/caption]
The 2022 IWSG Small Project Grant call is now open

The IWSG Small Projects Grants aim to support shorebird studies that otherwise will not go ahead. This could be all sorts of projects related to waders (shorebirds): ecological and/or conservation research, pilot studies looking at biological aspects of a single or a few species, or counts of staging birds at unexplored sites. Or something completely different! Application is open for IWSG members who have a project idea that could be undertaken if supported with a small amount of money

Hunan Global Messenger Technology Co., Ltd. (HQXS) is sponsoring the IWSG Conference 2021 by giving away six GSM/GPS transmitters to one conference participant. How to win the transmitters? Please find out at: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference/#3
IWSG Conference competition for tracking studies

Hunan Global Messenger Technology Co., Ltd. (HQXS) is sponsoring the IWSG Conference 2021 by giving away six GSM/GPS transmitters to one conference participant. How to win the transmitters? Please find out at: https://www.waderstudygroup.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference/#3