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Project Roadkill - spot Roadkills for science

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In Project Roadkill we investigate, which species and how many animals are killed on roads.

The website contains pictures of dead animals.

About Project Roadkill

In Project Roadkill you can participate in a scientific project with the aim to reduce roadkill. In this project we investigate, which animals are killed on roads and which factors are influencing roadkills. Your data allows us to identify roadkill hotspots. Our vision is to mitigate those hotspots in cooperation with local authorities.

What does roadkill mean?

Roadkills are all animals killed on roads. In most countries, official data on roadkills are only available for huntable wildlife. In the year 2012, amongst others 24852 European hare, 36865 Roe deer, 1414 European badgers were killed on roads in Austria. However, there are no data available on the effects of roads on non-huntable wildlife or red list species such as European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) or European green toad (Bufo viridis).

Why is roadkill important?

Rehe-1024x717Illustration: Horst Hellmeier

Habitat fragmentation by roads has a severe impact on many animal species, particularly for those with high mobility or seasonal migration behaviour, such as mammals or amphibians. As a consequence, roadkill is one of the main reasons for the decrease of populations of several animal groups. Compared to a human flat, habitat fragmentation is like a road right in your corridor, seperating your living room from your kitchen.

Animals cross roads when foraging, in mating season (like deer, which cover long distances in search for a mating partner in autumn) or changing from winter to summer habitat (like amphibians). Species which migrate over long distances are especially affected by roadkill.

Humans are also affected by roadkill. For drivers animals on roads are a great danger and most people are stressed because of the ethical burden when killing an animal. Not only accidents with big animals like deer or wild boar are causing damages to persons and/or property, also small animals like hedgehogs or toads can lead to damage because of evasion or breaking maneuvers.


Our aim is to minimize the number of roadkills as much as possible by finding the influencing factors.

The first step is getting an overview of the numbers and distribution of roadkills. The use of citizen science makes it possible to investigate large areas and determine when (weather, season, ...), where (forest, urban area, field, ...) and on which streettype, what kind of animal species is killed.

The second step is to identify roadkill hotspots and mitigate those hotspots in cooperation with local authorities and NGOs.

Our vision is to warn drivers of roadkill hotspots (road sections with a high density of roadkills per year) according to location and season by implementing our data in satnavs.

With the project Roadkill, we want to sensitize participants to roadkill and habitat fragmentation and to include the public's expertise in when and where roadkills happen.

How to participate?

You can download and use the free App called Spotteron | Roadkill for your Android smartphone:

You can download and use the free App called Spotteron | Roadkill for your iOS smartphone:

You can use our online form.

In advance of using our App, you have to register or login. If you are on the road and find a dead animal, which was killed by a vehicle, just report it via App or online form. You can do this right at the location or you make yourself a note and report at home using your desktop computer.

However, always pay attention to your own safety! Do not add any spots while you are at the wheel. Do not take a photo on unclear road sections. Always pay attention to road traffic and do not risk anything to enter a new spot! Your safety always comes first!

If you have any question, please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How can I avoid Roadkills?

Even now you can do a lot to avoid road kills. For example, it is a widespread misconception that amphibians survive by taking them "between the tires" with your car. Velocities over 30 km / h can already lead to the death of the amphibians, due to the vacuum under the car their lungs can burst.

If you want to be more active in the protection of frogs, toads, newts etc. on the road, you are sure to find an association near you which is working with amphibian protection fences along the roads and looks forward to your help. Contact your local museum to find out more about these associations.

Most road-kills with game animals happen during twilight, drive very carefully here and pay more attention to the edges of the road. The signs "Deer crossing" show particularly vulnerable spots and should be taken seriously, even if you have never seen a game there.


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Florian Heigl

Institut für Zoologie
Department für Integrative Biologie und Biodiversitätsforschung
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Wien

Read 9056 times| Last modified on Monday, 19 March 2018 18:34
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