Skip to Content

Motus Wildlife Tracking System

motus listening station

Motus  (Not POTUS) Wildlife Tracking System – Thinking Big

The Motus Wildlife Tracking System (Motus) comprises a network of coordinated automated radio telemetry towers that track the movements of small organisms throughout typical environments and habitats. The program is designed  to support landscape-scale research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals.

It was developed and supported by Bird Studies Canada (BSC) in partnership with Acadia University, Western University, the University of Guelph and many other collaborating researchers and organizations.

The system uses nano-tags that can be detected at distance of about 10 miles by a small antenna system. There are now over 280 active receiving stations (as of Aug 2015), positioned from Hudson Bay, along the James Bay Coast, stretching from south-western Ontario to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, through the Maritime provinces and down the eastern seaboard to Virginia.  When combined, this array can track animals across a diversity of landscapes covering thousands of square miles.

Learn more about the Motus program on their web site or visit the Bird Studies Canada Web site.  You can even build your own receiving station.


About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

Let others know your thoughts or ask an expert

Would you like to get new articles of birds (Once a month?)

No SPAM! We might only send you fresh updates once a month

Thank you for subscribing!

No thanks! I prefer to follow BirdZilla on Facebook