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Flyway Nights – Motus Wildlife Tracking System Network for the West

February 3, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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The Yolo Basin Foundation presents Flyway Nights, a monthly speaker series highlighting environmental issues, current research topics in conservation, and natural history of Northern California. Flyway Nights is free to Yolo Basin Foundation members and open to the public. A $10 donation is suggested for non-members.

Flyway Nights – Motus Wildlife Tracking System Network for the West

Speaker: Mary J. Whitfield – Research Director, Southern Sierra Research Station

The Motus Wildlife Tracking System (https://motus.org/) is an international collaborative research network of automated radio-telemetry receiving stations spearheaded by Bird Studies Canada (BSC). The Motus tracking network comprises more than 800 receiver stations from the Canadian Arctic to South America, operated by more than 300 collaborators. It facilitates landscape-scale research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals. In 2018, the Partners In Flight Western Working Group began the Western Motus Initiative because, despite the successes of Motus research using the existing network, there were notable and significant gaps across the western portions of North and South America. The lack of Motus stations in the west further exacerbates the migration ecology knowledge gap between eastern and western populations of small birds (Carlisle et al. 2009, Bayly et al. 2018).  Building on the success of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System Network in the east, we promoted the expansion of this technology to meet pressing information needs for western birds and other wildlife to inform conservation actions within the next decade.  In this presentation, I will talk about the Partners in Flight Western Working Group’s Motus initiative, our progress to date, and ways that people can help build the Motus network in the west.

Mary J. Whitfield is the Research Director at the Southern Sierra Research Station. She holds a B.S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from U.C. Davis, and a M.S. degree in Biology from California State University, Chico.  Her research interests include conservation biology, breeding ecology (particularly with the Willow Flycatcher, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo), behavioral ecology, full lifecycle research, and riparian systems. She has been actively involved with the Partners In Flight Western Working Group (PIF WWG) for over 10 years and is currently leading the PIF WWG Western Motus Initiative.


February 3, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm




Yolo Basin Foundation
(530) 757-3780
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