IWSG Small Projects Grants

Since 2016, the International Wader Study Group annually funds small projects.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.

The call for 2019 (field work 2020) is now open.

Applications should be submitted by December 1st of each year, and a decision will be made before 1st of May.

Application form IWSG Small Project Grants Call



The 2018 IWSG Small Grant winners

We are happy to announce that we have chosen to award the 2018 IWSG Small Grants to:

Thomas Mondain-Monval: Identifying the wintering grounds of Common Sandpipers in the UK using stable isotope analysis.

In order to reverse declines in Afro-Palearctic migrants it is crucial to understand the threats individuals face throughout their life-cycle. The UK Common Sandpiper population is in significant decline, but little is known about its winter distribution. I will analyse the stable isotopes of feathers and toenails collected from birds in Cumbria (UK) and Senegal to determine: (1) where birds breeding in Cumbria spend the winter and whether this influences reproductive success; (2) whether wintering birds primarily use coastal or inland habitats and (3) compare the wintering locations of birds identified through stable isotope analysis and geolocators. Also, to determine whether stable isotope analyses can be used to accurately predict the wintering locations of a wading bird species.

Christian Höfs and Tim van der Meer: Dotterel distribution and site faithfulness in Ammanäs, Sweden.

In 2018, a survey and colour-ringing project was started on a population of the Eurasian Dotterel in the Swedish mountain tundra. In general, little is known about site faithfulness and occupancy of Dotterels and data is lacking from our study sites.In the 2018 season we extensively surveyed Dotterels on our study sites . We colour-ringed 13 adults and 12 chicks so far.With the 10 nests we have found, as well as 76 observations of territorial Dotterel, we are developing a remote sensing based species distribution model.Our final goal is to use the new knowledge of this alpine specialist to gain insights into how we can contribute to the protection of this species and its vulnerable breeding habitat. We will evaluate the prediction of the remote sensing model in the 2019 field season and survey the area for colour-ringed dotterels and colour-ring more individuals. With the gained knowledge about site occupancy and faithfulness as well as philopatry we set the foundation for a movement ecology study in which we aim to use geotags (light loggers or solar powered GPS data logging) to discern the long-distance migration strategy as well as smaller-scale movements in the breeding strategy of the Dotterel.The aim of the remote sensing model is to use it to analyse Dotterel habitat characteristics, and to predict how they will respond to ongoing environmental change.

The IWSG Small Grant Committee,Yahkat Barshep, Vojtěch Kubelka and Jannik Hansen

Previous winners


  • Christoph Himmel: Censusing waders along Southern Azerbaijan coast on the flyway of, for instance, the Central Asian population of Black-tailed Godwits
  • Ralitsa Georgieva: Research of distribution, population size and main treats of breeding waders along Albania seacoast wetlands
  • Sriman Delip Kumar Das: A shorebird expedition to unexplored mudflats of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta, an important bird and biodiversity area, Bangladesh


  • Biol. Glenda Hevia and Dr. Verónica D’Amico: A valuation of the impact of human activities on physiological parameters of Two-Banded Plovers (Charadrius falklandicus) breeding at beaches in Northern Patagonia, Argentina.

Details on the previous recipients of the IWSG Small Grants