Motus Project: a collaborative research network

Source: screenshot of map receiver locations, available at

Putting North Bay on the map for wildlife tracking

The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry arrays to study movements of small animals across North America.


Motus stations are now located throughout North America, and now, into South America and internationally. Although there are currently more than 350 Motus stations - each passively receiving tracking information from tagged animals, including birds, bats, and even butterflies -  we still have some substantial gaps in coverage throughout northern Ontario, including here in North Bay. The two closest Motus stations, each with a reception field of 15-20 km in diameter, are located in Kawartha Lakes and at the Hilliardton Marsh in New Liskeard.


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 - as any member of our Bird Wing will tell you! 


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 provides the mechanism to better understand migration patterns and population health for species who live here year round, and those who travel through.


Want to know more about what species are currently being studied? Here's the current project list available on the Motus website.

What's the Plan?

For more than three decades, the Nipissing Naturalists Club have celebrated and explored the natural attractions of our region, sharing curiosity, knowledge, and enthusiasm for the wildlife and landscape of the region. Members of the Nipissing Naturalists are working with the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) and Bird Studies Canada to put North Bay on the Motus network. The site we’re currently investigating for the tower is in NBMCA’s Laurentian Escarpment Conservation Area, at the Laurentian Ski Hill.

What will it cost?

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.

How Can I Help?

We're so glad you asked! We have to raise $10,000 to get this tower off the ground, and donations large and small are all appreciated!


The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority has set up a fund for the "MOTUS Wildlife Tracking Tower". You can now make a donation through NBMCA and receive a charitable tax receipt for your donation! Donors who make an online donation through the NBMCA page on will receive their tax receipt by email immediately following their donation.

(Be sure to choose "MOTUS Wildlife Tracking Tower" as the fund!)

We did it -- We've met our fundraising goal!

We'll be meeting in December 2017 to begin planning for the installation in 2018! 

MOTUS Project News Release.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 327.0 KB

We've met our fundraising goal!

Thank you  for your support!

The following organizations, companies, and individuals have already stepped up to support the North Bay Motus Tracking Station Project:

North Bay Hydro - $4,000 (in kind) for the pole and installation

Mati Sauks - $1,000

Greater Nipissing Stewardship Council - $1,000

Nipissing University - $1,000

North Bay Lions Club - $500

Rebuilt Resources - $500

Marc Buchanan - $100

Fred Pinto - $100

Grant McKercher - $100

Lyn Ingham - $100

Kaye Edmonds - $30

Lori Anderson - $25

Steph Romaniuk - $25

Sheldon McGregor - $25

Sarah Wheelan - $25

Lorie & Janis Reed - $25 

Member Group