Tag Deployment

Motus supports two types of uniquely coded radio transmitters: NanoTags™ manufactured by Lotek Wireless Inc, operating on frequencies 166.380 MHz (Western Hemisphere), 150.100 MHz (Europe), and 151.500 MHz (Australia), and LifeTag™ and PowerTags™ manufactured by Cellular Tracking Technologies (CTT) operating on 434 MHz globally. The two tags use fundamentally different transmission and coding systems.

Tags range in size from ~0.2 g to ~2.6 g, and lifespans vary from 20 days to infinity, depending on the model. It is important to check the Motus Receiver Map to confirm which frequency other stations/antennas are operating on throughout the network. When communicating with Lotek or CTT, be sure to explicitly state that you want your tags/system to be compatible with Motus. Be sure to review our Motus Tag Guide in detail. Please contact Motus, or the tag providers above for more information.

All tags MUST be registered with Motus prior to deployment!


  1. Register a Motus user. Collaborators wishing to deploy tags must first register with Motus.

  2. Join or create a project. A Motus project is required before purchasing and registering Motus tags. In order for tags to be detected using the Motus network, they must be registered to a Motus project.

  3. Purchase and Register Tags: When ordering tags, provide the manufacturer with your Motus project ID.

  4. Register an anticipated tag deployment: this is a required for battery-powered tags to be detected by our system. You can add multiple tag deployments by using our Tag Deployment Bulk Editor. For more information about tag metadata and how deployments are used to detect tags, see Tag Metadata. Data from these tags will not be processed without a deployment.

  5. Deploy tags. Several techniques exist to deploy Motus tags and more are being developed and tested. This document provides instructions for affixing tags to a variety of species. If your group uses different methods, or have any additional information, please contact Motus.

Battery-powered tags must be activated and confirmed to be ON and emitting the expected ID before deployment.

Before deploying tags, ensure all stations you rely on are working and any stations nearby your tagging site are detecting your tags.

Not sure which tags to get? Review our tag selection guide.

In some specific cases tags may have to be registered manually. For instructions on manual registrations, see Tag Registration

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