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Tracking least known species

To uncover routes and nonbreeding sites of Palearctic passerine migrants

Our knowledge of individual migration of Palearctic passerines has grown enormously in recent years. Most studies were carried out on a few but common species. Rare or elusive species, especially in eastern Europe, usually receive little attention, such that the whereabouts outside of the breeding season are only vaguely known. Detailed knowledge of the evolved migration patterns of all species is part of our natural history heritage. The documentation of the current state – before further climatic or anthropogenic changes take effect – provide important baseline migration information.

Domain Research
Unit Bird Migration
Topic Distribution Ecology, Ecology, Evolution, Migratory Birds, Population Development, Species Recovery
Habitat alpine habitats, farmland, forest, meadows and pastures, rocky terrain, semi-open farmland, settlements, wasteland, wetlands
Project start 2018
Project status ongoing
Project management
Project region Africa, Europe


Project objectives

Where are the migration routes and nonbreeding sites of Palearctic-African species/populations wherein we lack knowledge to date? How do these new migration facts fit into the general knowledge of migration ecology, processes, and migration routes in the Pan-European-African migration system?


The project relies on close cooperation with, and the enthusiasm of local ornithologists. We support their external field studies on species or populations of interest by providing tracking devices. After recapture of tagged birds in the subsequent years, we are going to analyse and publish the tracking data together. The migration history data will be archived in open-access repositories to guarantee public access.

Project partner(s)

  • P.Adamik, Olomouc, CZ
  • P.Prochazka, Brno, CZ
  • S.Fischer, Steckby, DE
  • I.Todte, Steckby DE
  • B.Stumberger, Cikovane, SLO
  • D.Cikovic, Zagreb, HR
  • D.Tolkmitt, Leipzig, DE
  • T.Brinke, Nové Strašecí, CZ



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Bird Migration

We research migratory birds from their breeding grounds to Africa and lay the foundations for their protection beyond national borders.

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