Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

WATLAS - tracking regional movements

With WATLAS (Wadden Sea Advanced Tracking and Localisation of Animals in real life Systems), we follow where birds go in the western Dutch Wadden Sea. By investigating where birds go and why, we can identify whether and how they can deal with threats such as sea level rise and habitat destruction. So far, we have tracked the most abundant species of shorebirds in the Wadden Sea such as dunlin, red knot, bar-tailed godwits, oystercatchers and curlew, but also other abundant water birds such as common terns.

Error: Embedded data could not be displayed.

General information

Millions of birds depend on the Wadden Sea that offers relative safety and an abundance of food, such as the shellfish, worms, and shrimp. Some bird species use the Wadden Sea temporarily for breeding or for fuelling long-distance migrations, and others are resident nearly year-round. With WATLAS, we study how birds move with the tide, how individuals differ in where they feed, what they feed on and why, and how long they stay in the Wadden Sea on their migratory journeys.

Project news

More project newsView more

Project blogs

WATLAS fieldwork 2023 NIOZ onderzoeker Evy Gobbens is 6 weken op Griend om daar vogels te kunnen vangen, zenderen en observeren. Ze doet onderzoek naar het effect van zeespiegelstijgi…
Ecologisch onderzoek in de Waddenzee, 2023 Onderzoekers van het NIOZ volgen al jaren wat er gebeurt met het leven in de Waddenzee. Sommige datasets zijn al langer dan 30 jaar. Sinds vijf jaar wordt ook he…
A tight knot between exploratory personality, foraging tactics and diet There is a place on earth where life not only revolves around day and night but also around the tidal cycle. Intertidal mudflats are dynamic and fascinating plac…
More blogs


*) fields with an asterisk are mandatory.

Wadden & Delta Centre