In this pilot study, we co-designed together with Susanne Lutter, an enthusiastic Citizen Scientist in the Roadkill project, an approach that should demonstrate whether a presence/absence data collection of roadkilled animals is feasible with citizen science. Presence/absence data is collected by walking a certain distance at regular intervals and reporting whether an animal has been sighted or not. The difference to the current project design in the Roadkill project is that data is also collected in this method showing where no animal was killed on a route. Currently we only collect presence data in the Roadkill project, because you only report when an animal has been seen.
In order to test such a presence/absence data collection with citizen science, we have chosen together with Susanne Lutter a suitable route (3,3km) for her and the project team in the area Wienerberg in Vienna (Austria), which she will walk from spring 2020 in regular intervals (3x per week) and reports by using the Roadkill App where she found animals. In addition, she records when she was on the route and did not see any animals.
We hope that Susanne Lutter's work will provide us with new insights into roadkills in urban areas and look forward to working closely with her on this pilot study.
In addition, the insights gained from this pilot study will allow us to decide whether to apply for a larger project with such a design.