In the Team Blog participants present themselves and their experiences in the project.
My bike rolls quietly over the smooth asphalt. My chain creaks, the handlebars creak. My blood throbs behind my temple, sweat runs off my forehead and the pedals turn with the pounding of my legs.
My gaze glides madly over the grey surface, the breathing rhythm adapts to the gradient of the way.
10 years ago I started riding my bicycle to work - 15 km, 300 meters altitude difference. After my body was used to the strain, my eyes became more open to my surroundings - I first noticed what was lying around "out there". Thrown away one-way deposit bottles, which collected 25 ct would bring the piece - and many dead animals. I thought how careless my fellow men are with their environment. And tried
to artistically deal with the resources given to me.
That photographing dead animals is a taboo here in Germany, and that paying attention to them at all is frowned upon - I didn't realize it until I did. The result for me is to maintain distance - not a staging of effects, not a play with light, but rather documentary, the view straight from above, the picture plane equal to the underground. The fact that I put a tape measure next to it as a size reference underlines my effort to deal with this subject as objectively as possible.
For when I began to collect for this platform, I directly presented two hypotheses that await their falsification:
1.) fewer and fewer animals are road-killed
2.) the individuals which are killed are getting smaller and smaller.
In order to keep the data as clean as possible, I limit the documentation almost exclusively to my daily way to work. I assume (still a hypothesis) that a constant proportion of animals of the respective population is road-killed, and thus conclusions can be drawn by collecting Roadkill both in quantity and species "diversity".
If I didn't have a quarry near my home, I wouldn't have much to document here in a large German city without large waters nearby - especially not after the blackbirds have stayed away.
A selection of the entries:
My name is Nikolaus (Niki) Filek, I am a biologist, more precisely a zoologist.
The last 8 years of my life I spent in the national park Neusiedler See - Seewinkel, on the one hand as a tour guide, on the other hand as a project employee.
Now I will take a new path, but I would like to reflect retrospectively, because nature in Northern Burgenland will always have a place in my heart.
There were pleasant and less pleasant moments, especially in matters of nature conservation and how this is (not) applied. Even a national park often has no resources available in this so important matter and so I had to quickly realize that my own commitment is in demand.
So what could be done? Many days in the week I commuted with this question on the tongue between apartment door and workplace. Each trip I had to be a sad witness of countless deaths and I could hardly believe it, but field hares, hedgehogs, hamsters, squirrels, martens, deer, countless amphibians & reptiles and various bird species I have meanwhile on my long 'animal death list', not to mention the x thousand insects, which I have on my conscience by driving myself.
I wanted to give something back to the animals and so I found the app 'Roadkill', which I already got wind of during my university career. My aim was to show the daily (or better nightly) fatalities on the L205!
The simple thought was that with at least one fatality a day, something must change!
After all, after the fatal accident of two human road users, a Tempo70 zone was issued on the country road in the shortest possible time. The more than 250 fatal accidents of animals reported by me have so far unfortunately remained without consequences, but that is exactly what I would expect from the project.
It must be possible to install speed limits on certain stretches of road!
I myself am not a particularly slow motorist, but in our rushed and hasty times, perhaps it would not be wrong to take a little speed out of our sails or cars and, instead of trying to be faster, bigger and better, to be a little more considerate and gentle with us and our environment.
It would be important to me if the courageous cooperation of the most diverse actors through this great app also changed the situation! The data should, and indeed must, help to adapt traffic.
We humans must never place ourselves above the rabbit, the frog or the butterfly that we run over... simply run over and leave dead...
I think the project 'Roadkill' with all its passionate members is on a very good way to change something here, to make the world a little bit better.
My name is Werner Reitmeier and I have been on board since the beginning of the project. I made my first entry in March 2014, since then I have been constantly active and have entered over 180 spots so far.
I was made aware of the project by an acquaintance at the time and since I drive the same route almost every day and see animals being roadkilled over and over again, it was obvious to take part in this project. Also beside the project I like to spend time with nature and its creatures. I am interested in orthoptera, macrolepidoptera, ornithology and botany. The focus of my faunistic activities lies in the cooperation with the Orthoptera Atlas of Eastern Austria and the geotagging of species diversity as well as the continuous recording of the local fauna of Gablitz (Viennese forest).
Due to my high activity in the project, I always like to help to improve the apps by reporting bugs or opportunities for improvement. I am pleased that these reports are also well received and, if possible, implemented.
I am Harry, (Harald MARK), Tyrolean, live in Nenzing (Vorarlberg), am 46 years old, married and have two sons. Since my childhood I have been very rooted in nature and therefore an environmental activist for a long time (purely honorary). We have founded a small working group in our town on the topics of environmental and climate protection, sustainability and ethics. I do the public relations and awareness raising for this group. With a handful of great like-minded people I organize lectures, film evenings, school visits, workshops, courses and run a list of local suppliers. In 2014, I also founded a repair cafe in my home community of Nenzing, which I run quite successfully with a highly motivated team of volunteers.
I can't remember how I became aware of the Roadkill project. I believe through a newsletter (Naturschutzbund, naturbeobachtung.at, Global2000, Greenpeace, WWF, Blühendes Österreich,...???). In any case it is important for me to help to show how many animals die pointlessly due to road traffic. And since I travel a lot in nature on foot or by bike, I can make a good contribution here.
I hope that the data will also help to set measures, e.g. speed limits, game bridges, frog fences or similar. With good and a lot of data these "problem zones", where measures are necessary and meaningful, can be determined.
I think the project is on the right track. Other participants should be encouraged to participate through as many channels as possible. And again and again, regularly, reports should be published in radio, TV and print media about the enormous number of roadkilled animals. Drivers and politicians should be asked to take responsibility and be more cautious.
It is important that the website is user-friendly and functions well, which is usually the case anyway. Therefore no big wishes on my part.
My name is Daniela Loidl, I am 42 years old. I work for a film production company that produces nature films and documentaries, but I have been fascinated by nature and its creatures since my earliest childhood. I have been living in the Weinviertel (Austria) for more than 16 years, commuting many kilometres a year between my home and the Viennese office and seeing a wide variety of animal road traffic victims almost every day. Also in the place where I live hardly a week passes where an animal does not get under the wheels. Also some of 'my' hedgehogs were among them - nursing cases, which I have nursed, fed and hibernated with great effort.
Estimated there were always many victims, but I wanted to know more exact numbers. So I found Project Roadkill. Here the numbers become visible. All the more frightening is the realization of how many victims there really are. I 'collect' only since scarcely one month and have already over 50 entries...sad facts. But at least the animals did not die completely anonymously.
Apart from my own interest the collected data are of great use for a scientific evaluation. With the help of these data conclusions can be drawn, which can help to reduce with suitable measures the victim numbers in the future... which hopefully also will happen!
It would certainly be nice and useful if many more people would participate in the Roadkill project in order to be able to produce a comprehensive map.
The Roadkill App is very user-friendly in itself, only the positioning system with GPS does not always set the points precisely - but as soon as 'save' is pressed, the position can no longer be corrected - maybe something can still be changed?
The topic of roadkill could be represented even more intensively in the media; or perhaps already be brought to the attention of the young generation in school projects. Awareness needs to be raised here - many road users need to be reminded to drive more carefully, attentively, considerately and, above all, a little slower, then there would probably be a few fewer victims (and by that I don't just mean the animals...).
I like animals - alive they are much nicer than dead!
Alex Hanke lives in Canada and has been adding roadkills to our database for several months.
I am a fisheries scientist and consequently I use data on a daily basis to understand and hopefully increase the abundance of the wild fish populations I help manage. I love the outdoors and nature and I am concerned by the impact man has on wildlife. It has occurred to me on my commute to work that there are a lot of animals killed each year by cars and trucks and that I should start keeping track to see what the impact is and if there are any patterns in the mortality. Project roadkill provided me with a straightforward tool for tracking roadkills and for contributing to the science that may help reduce the unnecessary roadside mortality. The tool could be improved by including wildlife native to my area and by allowing the user to download the submitted data to a file. Because I do not log the roadkill while I am driving, it would be helpful to be able to enter the coordinates manually later. The app should also make note of any local conditions that affect the observed mortality rate like the posted speed limit, roadkill cleanup or deer fencing. I hope the project continues well into the future and that more people support it.
My name is Claus Schindler and I am 52 years old, I am professional photographer in Zwettl (Austria). In 2015, as a volunteer Red Cross employee, I often travelled from Zwettl to Horn with a dialysis patient. This is the route through the Allentsteig military training area, where there was a roadkill to be photographed almost every time.
I think I heard a broadcast on Ö1 about a Brit who was eating roadkills, so I searched the internet.
I think the project is important because it might help prevent accidents. Negative at the beginning was the waiting time until the roadkill was on the map, but this was improved.
In addition to the photographic task, it is motivating to be able to participate in a scientific project on a low-threshold basis.