Motus Wildlife Tracking System
The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a collaborative project for understanding movements of migratory animals such as birds, bats, butterflies and dragonflies. It relies on a network of fixed receiver stations to detect lightweight nanotags, tiny transmitters that let researchers track the movements of tagged animals with precision across thousands of miles. Named after the Latin word for movement, the Motus system shares data and maps with researchers throughout the world.
In 2018 a grant from FirstLight Power Resources matched with funds from Connecticut Audubon provided two Motus Wildlife Tracking System receivers. One is at Deer Pond Farm and another was erected at Shepaug Dam in Southbury in 2019. So far at Deer Pond Farm, we have detected twelve species: Rusty Blackbird, Red Knot, Swainson’s Thrush, Chimney Swift, Semipalmated Plover, Sora, Bicknell’s Thrush, Black-throated Blue Warbler, American Woodcock, Blackpoll Warbler, White-throated Sparrow and American Pipit. Additional information about specific detections and the research projects that tagged these birds can be assessed here for the Deer Pond Farm receiver and here for the Shepaug Dam receiver.
For more information on our grant, please read our 2018 press release. To read Scott Weidensaul’s article, New Technology Shows that Birds are Closer to Us than We Probably Thought, in our Connecticut State of the Birds 2018, click here.