Global Flyway Network

The Global Flyway Network (GFN) is a non-profit foundation that seeks to foster and strengthen partnerships between researchers that study the demography and movement ecology of migrant shorebirds across the world.

A key aspect of this work is to unravel individual life-histories of shorebirds through remote tracking. The GFN website allows professionals as well as laypeople to interactively explore the movements of the birds we track.

Development of the network and website are currently led by the BirdEyes Institute for Global Ecological Change of the University of Groningen, established in Leeuwarden (the Netherlands) in 2022, and a principal partner of the Global Flyway Network.

GFN History and mission

The Global Flyway Network was established by Prof. Dr Theunis Piersma and Prof. Dr Allan J. Baker in 2006 with international funding procured through BirdLife Netherlands. Our non-profit is registered in the Netherlands, and recognised as a charitable organisation there.

The GFN partnership applies the strengths of comparative demographic shorebird studies worldwide, with the aim to understand and analyse the factors determining shorebird numbers in a rapidly changing world. Demographic work is largely based on resighting data of large numbers of colour-ringed shorebirds. At the same time, GPS- and satellite-based tracking reveal how shorebirds behave and survive in -often remote- parts of the world throughout their entire annual cycle. In practice GFN also tries to fill major gaps in coverage of fieldwork of the world’s most threatened shorebird.

GFN has partners and members along all major flyways, and the Australian chapter under leadership of Chris Hassell has its own website.