East Atlantic Flyway Week

April 20, 2023 – April 27, 2023 all-day
Schutzstation Wattenmeer Seminar House on Hallig Langeness, German Wadden Sea
25863 Langeneß
Peter Prokosch
+47 90254755

East Atlantic Flyway Week Program

With the decision on December 19, 2022, of the 196 parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to protect by 2030 30% of the planet’s land and sea (the so-called 30×30 goal), the world got an obliged Christmas present. It should be a significant incentive for governments, NGOs and the private sector to rapidly increase activities to reach this critical goal in every region on earth. The East Atlantic Flyway, the migration route used annually by about 90 million coastal birds, is a vital region with ongoing activities to complete a protected area chain. Together with the growing importance of bird tourism worldwide in protected areas (the latest research shows that 3 million travellers worldwide dedicate their trip to birdwatching each year. 20% of European travellers that travel for wildlife tourism are also interested in birdwatching), which shows the potential of strengthening conservation and ecotourism partnerships in this area. The International Wadden Sea World Heritage plays a central role on the Flyway and profiles as an LT&C Example. The four partners, Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C), Schutzstation Wattenmeer, the WWF Wadden Sea Office, and the NABU Michael-Otto-Institut, therefore, like to arrange a seminar, excursions and other events on Hallig Langeness at the optimal time and location to experience spring migration of coastal birds. The week also includes participation in the opening day of Ringelganstage (Brent Goose Days)

Objective: Review the history of the Flyway concept and produce an overview of ongoing activities and potential future initiatives for improving, enlarging, or establishing protected areas along the Flyway, focusing on contributing roles and examples of tourism.

Targeted Participants: Conservation activists, migratory coastal bird researchers and Ecotourism practitioners involved in relevant protected area projects along the Flyway, and interested members of our four NGOs.

Bark-bellied Brentgeese on Hallig Laneness. Photo: Peter Prokosch

Venue: The Seminar House of the Schutzstation Wattenmeer on Peterswarf, Langeness. Accommodation of up to 31 beds in hostel conditions (shared rooms). The total cost for participating will be 60€/person/night, including bed, all meals and local transport. The chances to get other accommodation in the two hotels and private guesthouses on the island are already low. The total number of participants on any day of the week will be limited to 30.

A second part of the event is planned for the afternoon of Thursday, April 27, at the “Integrierte Station Westküste” at Lüttmoorsiel in Beltringharder Koog. A Symposium to honour the work of Hermann Hötker & Brigitte Klinner-Hötker will be organized by the NABU Michael-Otto-Institut.


Arrival on Thursday, April 20: There are two ferry departures from Schlüttsiel: 10:00 (Arrival 11:45) and 18:00 (arrival 19:45)

Friday, April 21:

Cloud of knots in April at Langeness. Photo: Peter Prokosch

SEMINAR to Review the history and pictures of the Flyway concept and activities, as well as the current state of studies regarding key coastal bird species using the flyway.

Moderation and introduction: Peter Prokosch

9:00 – 10:30:

Andrew St Joseph: “What happened 50 years ago with the London airport plans on the Maplin Sands and the first Brent Geese cannon-netting, respectively, starting the colour marking programme at Foulness?”

Barwolt Ebbinge: «Overview on the population dynamics of Dark-bellied Brent Geese from 1960-2020.»

John Frikke: “Population development and management of the Svalbard Pink-footed Geese.”

William Dick: “An expedition to Mauritania and first wader ringing 50 years ago: evidence for the main wintering quarters of the Siberian knot.”

Theunis Piersma: “Red knot and bar-tailed godwit flyway studies worldwide and how flyway comparisons may help pin down the peculiarities of specific flyway relevant to management and societal care».

10:30-11:00:  Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:30:

Jim Wilson: “Comparing and contrasting the migration ecology and non-breeding distribution of islandica knots that stage in spring in Norway and Iceland 2005-2022”.

Hans Meltofte: “Nearctic birds on the East Atlantic Flyway – ups and downs during half a century”.

Klaus Günter: “Monitoring and numbers of coastal birds in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea.”

Benjamin Gnep: “The significance of Langeness and the Wadden Sea for the entire Oystercatcher population of the Flyway”.

12:30 – 14:00:  Lunch Break

14:00 – 16:00:

Simeon Lisovski: “Modelling migration patterns – applications for science and management”.

Kristine Meise:  “Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative – present and future activities”.

Gerard Boere: “Observations on the history of the UN Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the African Eurasian-Waterfowl Agreement (AEWA) and the concepts of flyway conservation”.

18:30 – 20:00:   Dinner

20:00 – 21:30: 

Evening Programme:

Marc van Roomen: “Status of waterbird populations and their areas on the East Atlantic Flyway”.

Jens Gregersen: “Arctic sensations – a mix of paintings and research concerning waders.»

Saturday, April 22:

Participating at the opening ceremony of the “Brent Goose Days” (Ringelganstage) on the neighbouring island, Hallig Hooge. There will be a fee of 25€ for participating in the ceremony (including boat transport and food)

8:30 – 11:00:  Morning Excursion to the West end of Hallig Langeness

Ca 11:00: we will be picked up by boat to Hallig Hooge

Return to Langeness in the late afternoon

(For those who want to leave the Flyway week already, there are two alternatives from Hallig Hooge in the afternoon to reach Schlüttsiel on the mainland)

Sunday, April 23:

SEMINAR on Historic, present and potential future activities/ initiatives for improving, enlarging, or establishing protected areas along the entire Flyway, with a specific focus on contributing roles and examples of tourism.

Moderator: Anja Szczesinski

 9:00 – 10:30:   

Hans-Joachim Augst: “The creation of the Nationalpark Schleswig-Holsteinisches Wattenmeer from a governmental and non-governmental perspective.”

Harald Förster: “What can we learn from the LT&C Example Schutzstation Wattenmeer for other important protected area projects along the flyway and the supporting role of tourism.”

John Frikke: “The Danish Wadden Sea National Park and the role of tourism.”

Peter Prokosch: “How Brent Geese paved the way to the Great Arctic Reserve (Zapovednik) in Northern Taimyr, established 30 years ago.”

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee Break


Elena Lebedeva-Hooft: “Birds and Scientists in the time of change: possible perspectives for the Russian North.” (2 or 3 others from Russia may join this presentation, which will be via Zoom)

Andreas Umbreit: “History and perspectives of linking tourism and conservation on Svalbard.”

Hans Dieter Knapp: “How the Nationalpark Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft at the Baltic coast was created in less than one year, as the last decision of the former GDR Government”.

12:30-14:00 Lunch Break



Annual General Meeting of Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C)

This meeting is exclusively for members of LT&C, partly participating through Zoom.



Cont. SEMINAR on Historic, present and potential future activities/ initiatives for improving, enlarging, or establishing protected areas along the entire Flyway, specifically focusing on contributing roles and examples of tourism.

E.M. El- Hacen: “Migratory birds of the Banc ‘Arguin, Mauritania”.

Mohamed Henriques: “Migratory birds of the Bijagós Archipélago, Guinea-Bissau”.

Tatyana Kirikova (and Josef Chernichko & Svetlana Vinokurova per Zoom): “Sivash – the ‘Wadden Sea’ on the Mediterranean Flyway”

Anja Szczesinski: “Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) as important instruments for conservation along the flyways – examples from the East Atlantic and East Asian-Australasian Flyway”.

18:30 – 20:00:  Dinner 


Monday, April 24:

Full-day excursion to Hallig Oland (High water Langeness: ca. 17:00)

Tuesday, April 25:

19:00 – 20:30

(Presentation in German at Seminar House of the Schutzstation Wattenmeer or other public venue for local islanders and their guests)

Barwolt Ebbinge: “Alles was Sie schon immer über Ringelgänse wissen wollten” (“Everthing you since lkong time wanted to know about Brent Geese”).

Thursday, April 27:

Departure Langeness at 7:15 (arrival Schlüttsiel 9:35) or 15:15 (arrival 17:35).


Excursion Birdwatching Beltringharder Koog

Beltringharder Koog. Photo: Peter Prokosch

12:00 – 16:00:

SYMPOSIUM in Beltringharder Koog in honour of Hermann Hötker & Brigitte Klinner-Hötker

Thurid Otto: “What is the West Coast Integrated Station, and what are we doing here?”.

Peter Prokosch: “History of the Beltringharder Koog”.

Dominic Cimiotti: “Wadden Sea breeding birds at Beltringharder Koog and in the context of the East Atlantic Flyway”.

Volker Salewski: “10 years of applied research on black-tailed godwits at Beltringharder Koog”.

Klaus Günther:  “Migratory bird numbers and their development in the Beltringharder Koog”.

Hans-Joachim Augst: “Population development and key wintering-, staging- and breeding sites of Bewick Swans”.


Where to apply: If you are interested in participating or providing a relevant presentation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the organization team:

Peter Prokosch at Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C) in Arendal, Norway: Peter.prokosch@ltandc.org

Barbara Ganter at Schutzstation Wattenmeer in Husum, Germany:b.ganter@schutzstation-wattenmeer.de

Anja Szczesinski at WWF Wadden Sea Office in Husum, Germany: Anja.Szczesinski@wwf.de

Regarding the event at Beltringharder Koog (April 27), Carola Johannsen at NABU Michael-Otto-Institut: Carola.Johannsen@NABU.DE


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