“The Motus Wildlife Tracking System (Motus, latin for ‘movement’) is an international collaborative research network that uses a coordinated automated radio telemetry array to track the movement and behaviour of small flying organisms. Motus tracks animals (birds, bats, and large insects) affixed with digitally-encoded radio transmitters that broadcast signals several times each minute. These signals are detected by automated radio telemetry stations that scan for signals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When results from many stations are combined, the array can track animals across a diversity of landscapes covering thousands of kilometers.”Motus.org
At CTT we are proud to partner with Bird Studies Canada in an effort to expand and evolve the Motus network for many years to come. To this end we have developed a series of Motus-compatible transmitters and receivers to provide researchers with the tools for tracking wildlife from butterflies, bats and birds, and beyond.
VHF to UHF
One way we are evolving the Motus network is by adding UHF frequency. Our transmitters utilize the 434MHz frequency which has been demonstrated to provide greater transmission range, and a cleaner pure digital signal for less false-detections and greater signal-to-noise ratio than analog signal processing of VHF. To ensure that no research is left behind, we’ve made our receiver, the SensorStation, fully capable of receiving VHF signals while also providing more than enough on-board radios for UHF channels as well. This is only the tip of the iceberg, though, and our SensorStations are future-proofed to accept new and exciting frequencies as they are developed for wildlife tracking. A 900MHz Monarch Butterfly tag is already in the works!
For the Life of the Animal
All telemetry is limited by the weight of a transmitters, and as we track smaller beasts, that number becomes more and more important. Batteries have long been the culprit of weight constraints, resulting in studies that must compromise the duration of tracking because of battery life. Enter the LifeTag. While the LifeTag requires light to transmit, the absence of a battery means our solar-only design breaks the mold and provides a transmitter that can essentially perform for the life of the animal on which it is deployed. With its pure digital signal, and 434MHz UHF frequency, the LifeTag has been rated the best-in-class Motus-compatible transmitter currently available.