Filling gaps of bird tracking system on Louisiana's coast

Published: Sep. 7, 2017 at 12:14 PM CDT
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State wildlife officials said a $100,000 grant and free access to extensive lands along Louisiana's coast will help fill the gaps in a series of solar-powered towers to track radio-tagged migratory birds.

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries ornithologist Michael Seymour said ConocoPhillips is giving the money and access to coastal property for the project.

The department, the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation have installed 13 receiver stations since spring 2016.

They plan a line of 32 stations by next July, and say that will provide nearly seamless coverage along the coast.

It's part of an international collaboration called the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. The system tracks birds, bats and even large insects to which researchers have fixed tiny "nano-tags" that broadcast several signals a minute.