Date - September 21, 2017
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Lisa Kiziuk – The Motus: Building a Northeastern Wildlife Tracking NetworkSpeaker: Lisa Kiziuk
After more than a century of research, our understanding of the movement ecology of migratory animals is still surprisingly rudimentary. Yet understanding how animals move across the landscape is critical to preserving them in a rapidly changing world. A new generation of miniaturized VHF radio telemetry technology, coupled with a rapidly expanding network of automated receiver stations through the Motus Wildlife Tracking System (Motus), has the ability to bring greater precision and efficiency to the study of migratory species. However, the greatest drawback to the current Motus array is its limited geography and coastal nature.
In 2016 we formed the Northeastern Motus Collaborative (NMC) to establish a network of wildlife tracking radio receivers across Pennsylvania and the interior Northeast. This project will expand upon the current array of towers, increasing researcher’s ability to monitor interior flyways in the northeastern United States. Over the next three years, the NMC aims to complete three phases of tower construction: 1) Install a line of 18 towers across Pennsylvania from Philadelphia to Lake Erie by September 2017; 2) Expand the statewide Pennsylvania network to approximately 40 towers by the end of 2018; 3) In 2019, establish 30 or more towers northward in New York and New England, creating a more diffuse network across the Northeast inland region. Once a minimum threshold of stations within the overall network has been achieved, we will begin to deploy VHF nanotags on nesting and migrant Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) at Project Owlnet cooperator stations in New England and eastern Canada, allowing us for the first time to track their movement in real time across continental scales. Expanding the Motus network to cover the mid-Atlantic and Northeast will fill a critical geographic gap and will dramatically increase our ability to understand migration and habitat use by hundreds of species of migrants.
Lisa Kiziuk is director of bird conservation at the Willistown Conservation Trust (WCT) in Chester County, PA. As a federally licensed bird bander, she and Doris McGovern co-manage the Rushton Woods Bird Banding Station, which includes a migratory passerine program, a breeding bird MAPS survey, and a Northern Saw-whet Owl program. Lisa is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in their graduate program of environmental science, and frequently serves as a guest lecturer for local universities, garden clubs, and non-profit organizations. Lisa has a Masters in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and was presented with the Rosalie Edge Conservation Award by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club in 2011 for her work in bird conservation.
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