Together with colleagues from the USA, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Great Britain and Canada we looked at 15 different roadkill projects and compared them with each other.
The idea behind it was not of a purely academic nature, but was very practical. We wanted to find out how the different projects work, who can take part, what data is collected and what consequences result from it. Based on the results, we would like to try whether it would be possible to link all these projects together to create a global roadkill reporting system. Such an approach would make it possible to show even more clearly the impact of road traffic on biodiversity.
If you would like to know more about the recommendations that have been developed for similar projects and how the projects developed for public authorities or for road maintenance companies differ, you are welcome to read the original article that we have linked at the end of the blog.
Globally, wildlife-vehicle conflict (WVC) fragments wildlife populations (due to road/traffic-aversion), kills and injures individual animals, can cause wildlife population declines, may eventually contribute to local or total extinction of certain species, and can harm vehicles and drivers. Preventing WVC begins with recording locations of conflict, such as vehicle crashes, animal carcasses (roadkill), or animal behavior around roads, such as avoidance of roads or crossing-behavior. These data are ideally used to inform transportation policy and planning and to retrofit roadways and their structures to reduce WVC. We are collectively involved with or manage eight regional or national systems for reporting WVC in collaboration with volunteers and/or agency staff. In this review, we survey systems for recording WVC by volunteers and agency staff at different geographical scales, based on existing literature and our personal experience. We report the range of data collection methods, data management systems and data visualizations employed as well as discuss the groups and type of volunteers and agencies involved. We use our expertise and the global survey to provide methodological specifications based on current best-practice for collecting and using WVC data to inform transportation and conservation decisions. We conclude with a vision of next steps toward a global network of WVC reporting systems, that have clear and practical applications for improved conservation research as well as guidelines for management of road networks.
Unfortunately we could not afford to pay the $3000 for a free-access publication, but we got permission from the publisher to publish a so-called "pre-print" version of the article. This means that under the following link you can read a version of the article, which still contains a few small typos, but otherwise has the same content as the original article: https://zenodo.org/record/4276898
If you have any questions regarding this article, please feel free to post them in our blog post on Österreich forscht in the comments.