Putting North Bay on the map for wildlife tracking

Jun 12, 2017 - The Nipissing Naturalists are working with the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority t raise $10,000 to install a Motus Wildlife Tracking Tower at the Laurentian Escarpment Conservation Area as part of an international wildlife tracking effort.

The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry arrays to study movements of small animals.  Motus towers are now located throughout North America, and now, into South America and internationally.

"Although there are currently more than 350 Motus towers - each passively receiving tracking information from tagged animals, including birds, bats, and even butterflies - there are still some substantial gaps in coverage throughout northern Ontario, including here in North Bay.  The two closest towers, each with a reception field of 15-20 km in diameter, are located in Kawartha Lakes and at the Hilliardton Marsh in New Liskeard," said Fred Pinto, President of Nipissing Naturalists. 

This leaves a large gap in tracking migration routes through the North Bay/Nipissing Region.  This area sees much activity through the spring and fall migration seasons.

"Over the past few decades, we've seen troubling declines in many species, including shorebirds and aerial insectivores, such as swallows and flycatchers.  The Motus wildlife tracking network helps us better understand migration patters and population health for species who live here year round, and those who travel through," he added.

The equipment - including a SensorGnome, antennae, connectors and cables - as well as the cost of a tower or pole and installation will cost $10,000.  Contributions of any amount will help ensure North Bay's contribution to wildlife tracking and research around the world.

"The Nipissing Naturalists are a dedicated group of volunteers who have a passion for stewardship in our community.  It's an ideal collaboration to house the tracking tower at the Laurentian Escarpment Conservation Area and partner in fundraising for its purchase and installation," said Troy Storms, Supervisor of Field Operations at NBMCA.

NBMCA has set up a fund for the "MOTUS Wildlife Tracking Tower".  Donations can be dropped off at NBMCA and receive a charitable tax receipt or online through CanadaHelps.org

A diverse and friendly group, the Nipissing Naturalists Club originally formed in 1976, with the primary objective to observe and enjoy nature through field trips, meetings and discussions, and to stimulate interest and understanding of natural history.   www.nipnat.com

NBMCA was founded in 1972 by the Province of Ontario and the NBMCA 10 member municipalities.  A non-profit organizations, NBMCA works closely with the public to balance human needs with the environmental needs of the region's watershed.  NBMCA manages 16 Conservation Areas and trails int he watershed and is one of 36 Conservation Authorities who are members of Conservation Ontario.

For more information on NBMCA visit www.nbmca.ca or follow on facebook.com/NBMCA or twitter @theNBMCA.

For more information contact:
Fred Pinto, Nipissing Naturalists Club 705 825-1053
Troy Storms, NBMCA Supervisor, Field Operations 705 474-5420