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Collaborating To Assist Wildlife Tracking Research

November 1, 2021

In the world of non-profit conservation, partnering with other organizations and agencies is a crucial element of Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s work and mission.  A central focus of DLLT’s conservation efforts is to enhance wildlife habitat throughout the Downeast Lakes region, and as the old saying goes – “many hands make light work!”

When DLLT was contacted by the Motus Wildlife Tracking Network (Motus) and they identified the Downeast Lakes Community Forest as a potential key location for their network of tracking towers, we were eager to assist in their research efforts. Motus is an international collaborative network of researchers that use automated radio telemetry to simultaneously track hundreds of birds, bats, and insects. The system enables a community of researchers, educators, organizations, and citizens to undertake impactful research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals.

“The Northeast Motus Collaboration ( has been working hard to establish and maintain the Interior Northeast Motus Array, working with a variety of landowners along the way,” said Project Technician Todd Alleger. “A special acknowledgement goes to various land trusts throughout the northeast, whose lands host towers from Pennsylvania to Maine. Land trusts have been an amazing resource of conservation-focused folks who, when approached, don’t have to think twice about hosting a station or connecting us with a supporting landowner.”

Located on a mountain top with clear signals in all directions, Motus’ telemetry tower (pictured above) has a minimal impact on the landscape, and with its higher elevation, is able to link migratory species’ movements in the Downeast Lakes region to the Motus network.  Early projects include the monitoring of migrating Northern Saw-whet Owls and important species of invertebrates. This valuable data is contributing to scientific research across the globe and informing habitat management within the Downeast Lakes Community Forest.

For more information about the Motus Wildlife Tracking Network, please visit their website at