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Building Capacity for Reserves to be Motus Wildlife Tracking Leaders

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The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is an open-source, international network of community hosted radio-telemetry receivers and wildlife researchers designed to investigate a wide variety of wildlife movement questions. Volunteer partners host and operate receiving stations across the world that autonomously listen for flying migratory animals equipped with transmitters called nanotags. Researchers rely on the receivers for movement data for a diversity of tagged wildlife, including birds, bats, and insects. Despite widespread interest in wildlife tracking and research within and beyond the Reserve system, this technology has only been used sporadically at a few reserve sites to date.

In 2018, the ACE Basin NERR received private funding to implement a Motus receiver station at partner State Park, which sparked interest from potential collaborators. Since 2020, a multi-reserve project led by the ACE Basin Reserve has held a series of workshops to provide guidance and assistance on siting, construction, installation, and interpretation of Motus sites at participating reserves. In this webinar, project lead Jessica Kinsella shares how this effort has created new partnerships and positioned the Reserve as a regional leader for the Motus initiative, while enabling partners to increase their contribution to coastal bird research and engage their end users in coastal bird conservation and management.

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