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By Ellen Jakubowski, Communications Specialist, Birds Canada
If you have been following news from Birds Canada over the past few years, you’ve certainly heard of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. We regularly post stories about this cutting-edge network, and its potential to solve mysteries about migration and other aspects of animal biology. But are you curious to know exactly how it works?

An article recently published in the online journal Avian Conservation and Ecology might hold the answers to your questions. “The Motus Wildlife Tracking System: A collaborative research network to enhance the understanding of wildlife movement” explains in detail how the Motus system operates – from the radio transmitters that are affixed to wildlife; to the automated receiver stations; to the flow of information through the system. The article also describes the current uses of Motus, and future research challenges and opportunities.
The Birds Canada scientists who manage the Motus program are excited to share the new publication, and expect it to be widely used by researchers studying animal movement. “This article communicates the inner workings, remarkable results, broad objectives, and future opportunities provided by Motus,” says Birds Canada Migration Program Manager Stuart Mackenzie.
The article was produced collaboratively by a host of Birds Canada staff, associates, and partners. The authors include current Birds Canada scientists Dr. Tara Crewe, Stuart Mackenzie, Dr. Denis Lepage, and Zoe Crysler, as well as Birds Canada’s Chair in Ornithology at Acadia University, Dr. Philip Taylor, and President Emeritus Dr. George Finney.
The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a program of Birds Canada, in partnership with Acadia University and collaborating researchers and organizations. It is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada and CANARIE’s Research Software Program.
Visit our Motus website for more general information about the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, or to explore bird and bat movement data collected using this international network.

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