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New wildlife tracking tower unveiled

'The tower here is invaluable to capturing migration pathways, critical stopover areas' 
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Partners gather in front of a new wildlife tracking tower. Photo by Chris Dawson/BayToday.ca

A new radio telemetry tower was unveiled Friday at the Laurentian Escarpment Conservation Area. 

The new tower located at the top of the chairlift at Laurentian Ski Hill is tracking birds and other winged creatures as part of an international monitoring network. 

The North Bay tower is a collaboration between the Nipissing Naturalists, the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority and Bird Studies Canada.  

Troy Storms, Manager of Lands and Stewardship at the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, says the new location is one of 450 tracking stations throughout North America and around the world.  

“We see an abundance of bird migration through the area,” said Storms. 

“The tower here is invaluable to capturing migration pathways, critical stopover areas.” 

Stuart McKenzie, the migration program manager at Bird Studies Canada says some birds recently arrived in the area that were in South America a few weeks ago.  He says there’s a lot going on in terms of migratory animals that we have no clue about yet.  

“Whether it is happening at night or when we are asleep or during the day flying overhead and you would never imagine it but this station in collaboration with hundreds of others are doing that work for us and allowing scientists to dig into it,” said McKenzie. 

Fred Pinto is the President of the Nipissing Naturalists.  He says this unique data can be used by educational institutions such as Nipissing University, Canadore College here in North Bay for students and researchers to use.  

“Other researchers with the government and other research organizations will also get data from this tower,” said Pinto.  

The project, with a price tag of $10,000 was funded through donations from residents and organizations in the Nipissing Regions along with support from the City of North Bay, North Bay Hydro, and Spectrum who all helped with the installation of the tower.  

The Tracking system on the tower, called the “Motus Wildlife Tracking System,” is a program connected to Bird Studies Canada in partnership with Acadia University and collaborating with researchers and organizations.  

The public can check out the date and research on the Motus website at  www.motus.org




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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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