Today (10th October 2016) we published a new paper in Remote Sensing with the title "Comparing Road-Kill Datasets from Hunters and Citizen Scientists in a Landscape Context".
It is open access and therefore free for everyone to read: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/8/10/832/htm
We really wish to thank all citizen scientists in Project Roadkill for investing time and reporting data.
Here is the abstract of our published paper:
1Institute of Zoology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
2Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
3Institute of Surveying, Remote Sensing and Land Information, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
4Institute of Applied Statistics and Computing, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Road traffic has severe effects on animals, especially when road-kills are involved. In many countries, official road-kill data are provided by hunters or police; there are also road-kill observations reported by citizen scientists. The aim of the current study was to test whether road-kill reports by hunters stem from similar landscapes than those reported by citizen scientists. We analysed the surrounding landscapes of 712 road-kill reportings of European hares in the province of Lower Austria. Our data showed that road-killed hares reported both by hunters and citizens are predominantly surrounded by arable land. No difference of hedges and solitary trees could be found between the two datasets. However, significant differences in landcover classes and surrounding road networks indicate that hunters’ and citizen scientists’ data are different. Hunters reported hares from landscapes with significantly higher percentages of arable land, and greater lengths of secondary roads. In contrast, citizens reported hares from landscapes with significantly higher percentages of urban or industrial areas and greater lengths of motorways, primary roads, and residential roads. From this we argue that hunters tend to report data mainly from their hunting areas, whereas citizens report data during their daily routine on the way to/from work. We conclude that a citizen science approach is an important source for road-kill data when used in addition to official data with the aim of obtaining an overview of road-kill events on a landscape scale.