Western Working Group
The primary mission of the Motus Initiative is to expand the use of automated telemetry technology to meet pressing information needs for western birds to inform conservation actions within the next decade. This exciting project is being spearheaded by the Partners In Flight Western Working Group.
Short-term objectives include building the network within the west to answer to fill critical information gaps for priority species and expanding the partnership to include bats and insects. The following six areas of study are needed for most landbirds and shorebirds:
- arrival and departure times on breeding grounds
- overwinter survival
- stopover duration
- regional and site level stopover and molt-migrant fidelity
- post-fledging survival and dispersal
- breeding habitat use
Long-term objectives include filling spatial gaps in the array, ensuring the longevity of the network, and meeting research needs at large spatial or temporal scales. Future areas of study include: (1) migratory connectivity, (2) migratory timing, movements, and their relationship to climate, and (3) movements on wintering grounds.
There are two manufacturers and three tag types that are currently compatible Motus network: Lotek Nanotags, CTT LifeTags, and CTT PowerTags. Motus was created around the use of Lotek tags so nearly the entire network is compatible with their frequency and codeset. CTT uses new technology that involves a different frequency and codeset from Lotek; therefore, most Motus stations are not ‘listening’ for CTT tags. However, it is now possible to configure stations to ‘listen’ for both frequencies. The options for receivers are currently these: Lotek SRX800-D, Sensorgnome, and CTT Sensorstation. See the “Questions to ask before installing a Motus Station” document for information on tag sizes and pros and cons of tag and receiver types.
How to Get Involved
Please join us! You can help support one of the largest migratory animal conservation science and research initiatives in the world. We welcome all collaborators, whether you are a researcher, land manager, organization, educator, or private landowner. This is an opportunity for outreach, education, and collaboration with people throughout the Americas. Please visit Motus and Cellular Tracking Technologies (CCT) for more information.
TRBL with Motus tag photo
Questions to ask before installing a Motus Station
Information for Landowners
The Motus Wildlife Tracking System: a collaborative research network to enhance the understanding of wildlife movement