Motus Network Established in the Columbia Valley Used to track Bank Swallows

In late June 2022, Wildsight Golden started a new thread of the Upper Columbia Swallow Habitat Enhancement Project by putting 50 Motus tags (wildlife tracking devices) on 50 individual threatened Bank Swallows. This was done in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service.  The collaboration also installed three large Motus Wildlife Tracking stations in the Columbia Valley, along with a smaller tower at one of the colonies located on Shuswap Band land, with their permission.

Motus Wildlife Tracking technology is being used to help identify the areas used during the breeding and post-breeding period (i.e., prior to fall migration) by Bank Swallows. This information is key for helping to protect Bank Swallows within the North Columbia/Upper Columbia (e.g. by learning what areas are important to conserve, enhance, or restore for Bank Swallows) and at other breeding locations across Canada. In addition, using Motus receiving stations located throughout the western hemisphere tagged individuals will be tracked during fall migration providing unprecedented information on migratory timing, routes, stopover locations, and winter areas. This information is key for forming international collaborations that will conserve and recover swallow habitats and populations throughout the year.

This work is being financially supported by the Columbia Basin Trust’s Ecosystem Enhancement Program, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, and the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund. Our sincere gratitude goes out to these funders. A huge thanks to the Shuswap Band (Secwepemc Nation) who is supporting this program including permission for land access and use.


To learn more about this program, email or go to the website here.

(All photos courtesy of Rachel Darvill)