By Stu Mackenzie, Director, Migration Ecology, Bird Studies Canada
Bird Studies Canada is proud to announce that our Motus Wildlife Tracking System was one of 20 projects across Canada to recently receive funding from CANARIE’s Research Software Program. CANARIE is a non-profit corporation that strengthens Canadian leadership in science and technology by delivering digital infrastructure that supports world-class research and innovation.
The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is an international collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry to study the movements of small migratory animals. The conservation of migratory animals is especially challenging because it requires the consideration of threats occurring at different stages of their life cycle that typically span multiple jurisdictions, habitats, and landscapes that are often thousands of kilometres apart. Motus is a powerful tool helping researchers unlock innumerable mysteries about migratory animals, including where their populations may be threatened, and then prioritize where and what conservation actions may have the greatest impact.
The Motus collaborative is currently comprised of more than 200 research projects that are collectively maintaining an array of more than 600 monitoring stations across 26 countries. In order to strengthen the range of innovative technology and data management options available for researchers to use with Motus, Bird Studies Canada, in partnership with Cellular Tracking Technologies (CTT) from Cape May, NJ, will expand the Motus Research Software Platform to collect, store, and manage data from CTT’s new solar-powered LifeTag ™ and integrate with CTT’s Data Portal. The LifeTag™ weighs in at about 0.3g, and operates entirely off of solar power, which means one tag can theoretically last forever. These advances in collaborative wildlife tracking will provide Bird Studies Canada, and our wide array of academic, government and non-government partners, with a robust range of new tools and possibilities to fuel research and conservation science well into the future.
CANARIE and the Motus Wildlife Tracking System are supported in part by the Government of Canada. Motus is a program of Bird Studies Canada in partnership with collaborating researchers and organizations.