This is the GROMS News archive, showing News until 2011, and archived in January 2018 by Klaus Riede. The CMS Thesis Award is no longer available (if you are an interested sponsor, contact CMS
GRoMS News archive
Inspired by a suggestion of Klaus Riede, the former CMS Executive Secretary Arnulf Müller-Helmbrecht raised funds from Lufthansa and National Geographic Germany, to establish the UNEP/CMS Thesis Award on Migratory Species Conservation. The award of 10,000 EURO will be offered every three years at the Conference of Parties to CMS at alternating locations, and for the first time at the 8th meeting of the CMS Conference of the Parties (COP8) in November 2005. 36 applications from 21 nations have been received and will now be reviewed by experts. More and Online Application for 2008

tiny news image Call for applications for the UNEP/CMS Thesis Award 2011

tiny news imageNew GROMS map site available at GBIF (KR, 22/12/2009)

tiny news image Summary of the ninth conference of the parties to the convention on migratory species of wild animals and related meetings: 27 november-5 december 2008

tiny news image The CBD conference raised its curtains in Bonn, Germany. Various CBD documents refer to the GROMS, or to migratory species.

tiny news image Last call for applications for the UNEP/CMS Thesis Award! The UNEP/CMS Thesis Award on Migratory Species Conservation, sponsored by National Geographic Deutschland and Lufthansa, is now open for applications until May 2008.

News from the CITES conference (June 2007)

GROMS distribution maps prepared for Google Earth
Inspired by our first set of maps, members of the Google Earth community did more work on birds, using our OpenGIS layers (open this kml-file produced by Cybarber). If you enter the GEC discussion thread on bird movements, you will discover other interesting animations and overlays with avian flue outbreak areas. In addition, you can download point distribution data in GE-format from the GBIF website. However, for all these interesting visualisations you need to have Google Earth installed on your computer.
These cooperative efforts go back to Declan Butler, a reporter at Nature who covers avian influenza. Declan Butler has a weblog where he has links to updated Map files:, or see (networklink). Subscribe to the migration discussion list, for further information on this work in progress, updates or commentsKR, 23/11/2005

GROMS represented at COP8
The evaluation report for the GROMS has now been published and submitted as document Conf. 8.12 for the 8th CMS Conference of Parties (COP8), together with draft resolution Res. 8.9/Rev 1, recommending (inter alia), to continue with the collaboration with the Zoological Museum Koenig. Download the GROMS Poster for COP8, or other ppt presentations. KR, 2/11/2005

CMS Thesis winner elected
This first event of the UNEP/CMS Thesis Award was very successful. 36 theses have been submitted. Finally 8 laureates were selected and their theses were presented to the Jury. The task was very hard because all these theses were of high scientific value providing solid contributions to conservation.
Birds, Marine mammals and freshwater fish were concerned by the 8 thesis submitted to the Jury. The studies were achieved using both simple and sophisticated methods with a very innovative approach and an integration of socio economical concern for some of them, which is very helpful in the establishment of conservation measures with a scientific sound basis.
The Jury selected as first laureate Zeb Hogan for his work on the migratory giant Catfish in the unique Mekong ecosystem; as second laureate, Carlos Rodriguez for his perceptive study of the respective influences of agricultural intensification and climate variation on the decline of lesser kestrel and as third laureate, Rodrigo Hucke-Gaete for his study of the Blue whale in Chilean waters which resulted, in particular in the discovery of essential breeding ground for this endangered species
I would like to personally congratulate the laureates and wish them a successful future in their work. Statement by Jury-member Dr. Marie van Klaveren (ACCOBAMS-Secretariat, Monaco) -More Information and pictures of the Jury see

Multilingual search for migratory fishes
More than 1,000 fish species migrate! A prototype for multilingual search has been developed by directing users to the Fishbase common name database, which contains 207,200 common names! You can test this tool by entering any common fish name. Your request is directed to FishBase, and the scientific name is extracted and fed back into GROMS, which analyses the migratory status of the species, using the scientific name. If it is not migratory, you are re-directed to FishBase. This process takes some time, but greatly enhances our Register of Migratory Species, which is based on scientific names, and "only" contains common names in English, French and Spanish. Try to search for "Alacciotta", the Italian name for the ocenaodromous gilt sardine Sardinella aurita.  K.R., 28/06/05

Direct links to IUCN Red List and BirdLife Factsheets
unfortunately, the Inernational REd List gets longer and longer! Results from IUCN assessments in 2004 also list migratory species which moved into the highest category before extinction and now are CR -Critically Endangered, as for example the Giant catfish, a migratory fish listed on CMS App I. GROMS species reports contain and allow to search for Red List status as assessed in 2000, but now provide a direkt link to the IUCN database, launching the 2004 status for the respective species, by clicking on the Red List link (try). In addition, we provided a direct link to BirdLife factsheets, for all threatened migratory birds (try). Note that BirdLife Internationalis the official Red List Authority for birds for IUCN, which means that the latest 2005 conservation status is provided.  K.R., 23/06/05

Update of GROMS Literature Database
Nearly 6,000 references are now available, thanks to additional input by contributors, through our new online entry tool!  E.G., 07/06/05

Additional maps available through dynamic link with GBIF map services

screenshot GBIf map The Global Register of Migratory Species (GROMS) is now offering two types of maps: one showing general distribution (GROMS map), and a second map based on point observations (GBIF map), by linking dynamically to GBIF services. Clicking on the GBIF map link for the first time, you will be asked to accept the terms of copyright. Once accepted, the map will be launched. Note that this can take some time, depending on the number of points displayed. By arranging both map windows on your desktop, you can compare both maps. Point data indicated by GBIF are more precise, but you will easily notice that coverage is incomplete, especially in remote wintering areas. Launch examples map for the barn swallow - Hirundo rustica

New Orleans: U.S. government proposed broad international measures to curb the slaughter of sharks in the Atlantic Ocean:

IUCN Third World Conservation Congress opened in Bangkok, Thailand, from 17-25 November 2004.
The International Institute of Sustainable Development provides excellent daily coverage.
According to the GROMS database, 631 migratory species are covered by the Int. Red List 2000, i.e. 14.5% out of all 4,376 migrants identified by the GROMS. Make your own detailed analysis by using the GROMS database expert search interface, which allows detailed listing of distinct threat categories.

Multilingual User Guides for the 2004 edition of the GROMS CD now available online!
The user guide empowers novices to make simple database searches, and customize their own maps with the enclosed lightweight GIS freeware.This allows optimal use of 1,100 migratory species maps in GIS-format, and combinations with other environmental data sets such as oilspills, all available on this CD. To explore the new features, download the User Guide in your preferred language (English /German /French /Spanish).
Book and CD-ROM can be ordered at:
Riede, K.: Global Register of Migratory Species - from Global to Regional Scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081.2004, 330 pages + CD-ROM, 3-7843-3845-3

Final Report of CMS 25th Anniversary Symposium in Berlin, 22.6./23.6.2004, now online!

Online entry of hyperlinks and literature into the GROMS database.

Greenpeace-Action in Berlin against Bycatch: Under the headline Life is not rubbish ( "Leben ist kein Abfall") Greenpeace filled the area before the Brandenburger Tor with bycatch from 2 hrs of fishing in the North Sea: 11,000 animals on a 100 m long table....

Mailing list on migratory species: Migration is an international discussion forum, trying to bring together researchers and conservationists working on migratory animals. Subscribe to Migration by sending an email to:, subject: leave blank, text: subscribe migration
To post information to the list, send an email to:
For questions or problems please contact Klaus Riede:

New book Biological Resources and migration" now published by Springer.

100 scientists from 24 countries met for an International Conference and OECD Workshop on Biological Resources and Migration at Philipps-University Marburg, Germany, from October 5-8, 2003. The interdisciplinary meeting covered the migration of biological resources such as plants, animals, microorganisms and genes, and combined these fields with the migration of people. The GROMS information system was presented by Klaus Riede (Germany) within a session on animal migration, embedded into lectures on migration in aquatic invertebrates (Bert Higler, The Netherlands), fishes and sea mammals Paul Rodhouse and Ian Boyd, UK), and on nature conservation consequences of changes in migration and dispersal (Harald Plachter, Germany). The wide spectrum of topics reached from human migration in the Sahel (Werner Fricke) to dispersal of pathogens (S. Becker: Be a virus, see the world). The conference proceedings have now been published by Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York

Download the GROMS contribution (ppt, 4.5MB!)

New Species Fact Sheets:
based on our GROMS GIS maps we now publish 511 additional maps together with information on migratory movements. A total of 1181 species fact sheets is now available and searchable via the GROMS database or Google (type species name + GROMS).

CITES Parties meet in Bangkok from 1st of October, for COP13. A considerable number of migrants is also listed by CITES - you can explore the complementarities between these two important Wildlife Conventions by searching for congruences between CMS and CITES, using the GROMS database expert search interface.

7th CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (CBD -COP-7) closing in Kuala Lumpur Click here for excellent coverage and summaries. The GROMS database is part of the german contribution for the Clearinghouse Mechanism (CHM), which should "develop a global mechanism for exchanging and integrating information on biodiversity".

Sea turtles could go extinct unless key migratory routes protected, say scientists meeting at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Seattle, February, 2004. Read on about Safeguarding the ocean road

New whale species described Japanese scientists described a new species of Balaenoptera, which is characterized by its unique cranial morphology, its small number of baleen plates, and by its distant molecular relationships with all of its congeners. The analyses also separated Balaenoptera brydei (Bryde's whale) and Balaenoptera edeni (Eden's whale) into two distinct species, raising the number of known living Balaenoptera species to eight. The species was named Balaenoptera omurai (see publication in Nature 2003). Up to now, it was probably confused with the fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus, an interoceanic migrant listed on CMS App I & II. As its congener, the new species probably is "Endangered". Note that the description of new species "reduces" the population of those "species" within which it was hitherto included!.

Flyway animation of Aquila pomarina (Lesser spotted eagle): Click here for flyways
Based on data from Meyburg, B. und Meyburg, C. (2002): Monitoring raptors by means of satellite telemetry, Raptors in the new millenium, International Birding & Research Center, Eilat, p.22-32.
See also www.raptor-research and Groms Fact Sheet

A new census of past whale populations suggests that some were once about 10 times larger than previously suspected! the study was recently published in SCIENCE magazine, and presents evidence that historical population numbers given by the International Whaling Commission are far too low!

GROMS Website successfully moved to Bonn University Webserver! 5 years after the GROMS project leader (Klaus Riede), the GROMS website has also moved from Freiburg to Bonn University. Thanks to the faculty of Biology of Freiburg University, for having patiently hosted hundreds of Megabyte of GROMS data. As a user, you will probably not even notice the change, but please re-direct your bookmarks to individual pages, which now are all to be found under the domain "". If you have only bookmarked the domain, you might have to press the Reload button on your browser, to activate the new links. If you search for GROMS Species fact sheets in Google by typing a species name + GROMS, you might still end up with the old, dead links. We hope that Google is updated quickly. Mewanwhile, enter the fact sheets and other database tools by clicking "Enter database products".

New Letter of Agreement (LoA) between CMS and Museum Koenig (ZFMK) This LoA has been signed on 5th of July, and guarantees further funding of GROMS until 2004. (ZFMK)

Flyway animations of Ciconia ciconia

ecoregion map This map shows the number of migratory species in several (890) ecoregions of the world (total number of species: 846). It has been generated by a GIS based intersection of the www-eco.shp file provided by ArcView/ESRI and GROMS distribution maps. Then the species within each ecoregion have been counted. It must be kept in mind that some categories, for example "Snow, ice, glacies and rock", are not local but can be found in several areas. Unusual high values in these categories are composed of snow and ice areas of the whole map. print version

The Prestige oilspill has taken a huge toll by killing thousands of seabirds. For extensive information, see Spanish society for Ornithology. Latest information, pictures and updates on the Prestige oilspill, affecting 15,000 seabirds, can be found here.

The Icelandic Government will put thousands of pairs of nesting Pink-footed Geese at risk by sanctioning two hydro-electric schemes, according to information published by BirdLife International on Jan 15th, 2003. Pinkfooted geese (Anser brachyrhynchus) migrate from Iceland to Great Britain (see GROMS fact sheet and map. Iceland destroys their breeding grounds, which are protected by the Ramsar Convention. Therefore, Iceland violates the Ramsar Convention, which it ratified in 1978. In addition, Pinkfooted geese are listed on CMS Appendix II and protected by the AEWA.

The Prestige oilspill was no the first in the area! GROMS provides a GIS data set of oilspills from 1967 to 1991 for download download.

  • No Cod - no Fish&Chips any more! New ICES Report on collapse of migratory fish stocks due to overfishing
  • Coverage of CITES meeting (discussion about several migratory species!)

    Migratory species fact sheets

  • Whales and dolphins species accounts (by Boris Culik)

  • GROMS participates on the IBOY - the International Biodiversity Observation Year, starting 2001

  • Other News:
  • GROMS and AEWA featured in Deutschandfunk (German)

  • Hedgehog massacre necessary tosave scottish wader populations [German]
  • Bird News from BirdLife International

    Last update: 12th Mai 2005 by Eva-Maria Gerstner


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