The Missouri Department of Conservation has joined an international network that tracks the large-scale movements of birds, bats and large insects, turning to the Motus Wildlife Tracking System.
(TNS) — The Missouri Department of Conservation has joined an international network that tracks the large-scale movements of birds, bats and large insects.
Motus began in 2014 by
The tracking system works by using nanotags and a collaborative system of receiver stations. Researchers fit birds with lightweight nanotags, or tiny radio transmitters, that send out radio signals coded to be detected on the Motus frequency.
There currently are 996 active Motus stations in the world that all listen on the same frequency.
When the Motus-tagged animals fly within range of any Motus receiver along a migration route, the signal is detected and stored or uploaded to the Motus website via an internet connection or the cellular network.
"Motus is revolutionary because of its collaborative nature," Kendrick said. "We can learn so much more about long-distance migration together than separately. Using Motus, researchers are learning more and more about migration timing, routes, duration and stop-over sites — all of which help us target conservation efforts for these species along those pathways."
Missouri has installed 16 active Motus receivers. These receivers make up two latitudinal "digital fences" in the northern and southern portions of the state that contain diverse habitat and breeding grounds for many bird and bat species.
During the 2020 fall migration, Motus receivers in
Since the installation of the Motus receivers, Missouri had three detections of Motus-tagged birds during spring migration and 18 detections during fall migration.
Species detected include Swainson's Thrushes, Gray Catbird and Common Nighthawk tagged in
The Common Nighthawk was tagged in
"These detections show how Motus is only as strong as the investment made in it," Kendrick said. "Filling gaps in coverage almost always leads to new and inspiring findings."
In addition, a multi-state
There will be 48 placed in
"One-third of the birds that breed in
To learn more about Missouri's role in the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/Zbn.
(c)2020 the St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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