WILDLIFE

Utah conservation research to get boost from new tech

Jan 4, 2024, 4:00 PM

Motus monitoring station at the Ogden Nature Center, where official hope that their animal tracking...

Motus station at the Ogden Nature Center. (Ogden Nature Center)

(Ogden Nature Center)

OGDEN, Utah — New technology at the Ogden Nature Center will track the migratory pattern of birds, bats, and insects. The Center hopes the technology will help future conservation efforts in Utah.

The Ogden Nature Center collaborated with the Tracy Aviary and Motus, a North American migration tracking system to set up around 30 tracking stations along the Wasatch Front.

The center’s Conservation Director Maya Pendleton said this will lead to game-changing conservation research in Utah.

“Going from not being able to have very much data to kind of having this whole area covered. We’re just getting very excited.”

Tagging birds, bats, and insects to help conservation in Utah

The center will put tiny harmless GPS tags on local birds, bats, and insects. Then they’ll release the little critters out into the wild. The towers will then pick up migration data.

“We put these little tags on them and within 15 minutes we can send these little guys back out into the wild to just do their little bird things, their little bat things, whatever they need.”

Pendleton said by tracking the animal’s movements, they can learn how best to conserve these animals and their habitats.

“These tags not only tell you a GPS location. They can really tell you all sorts of things about the animals’ movements. [Like] if there are more stopover habitats that are seeming really important to them,” Pendleton said.

Pendleton said the center wanted to be a part of this since so many birds rely on Utah’s habitats.

The animals help keep Utah’s ecosystem going, according to Pendleton. That’s why it’s so important to track this kind of data.

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Utah conservation research to get boost from new tech