By: North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority
NORTH BAY, ON – The Nipissing Naturalists are working with the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority to raise $10,000 to install a Motus Wildlife Tracking Tower at the Laurentian Escarpment Conservation Area as part of an international wildlife tracking effort.
The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry arrays to study movements of small animals. Motus towers are now located throughout North and South America.
“Although there are currently more than 350 Motus towers — each passively receiving tracking information from tagged animals, including birds, bats, and even butterflies — there are still some substantial gaps in coverage throughout northern Ontario, including here in North Bay. The two closest towers, each with a reception field of 15-20 km in diameter, are located in Kawartha Lakes and at the Hilliardton Marsh in New Liskeard,” said Fred Pinto, president of Nipissing Naturalists.
This creates a large gap when tracking migration routes through the North Bay/Nipissing Region. This area sees much activity through the spring and fall migration seasons.
“Over the past few decades, we’ve seen troubling declines in many species, including shorebirds and aerial insectivores, such as swallows and flycatchers. The Motus wildlife tracking network helps us better understand migration patters and population health for species who live here year round, and those who travel through,” he added.
The equipment – including a SensorGnome, antennae, connectors and cables – as well as the cost of a tower or pole and installation is expected to cost $10,000. NBMCA has set up a fund for the “MOTUS Wildlife Tracking Tower”. Donations can be dropped off at NBMCA and receive a charitable tax receipt or online through CanadaHelps.org.