Road Ecology Center
Wildlife/roadkill observation and reporting systems
- Author(s): Shilling, Fraser
- Perkins, Sarah
- Collinson, Wendy
- et al.
Wherever wildlife habitat and roadways overlap, roadkill seems inevitable. Observing and recording carcasses
resulting from wildlife–vehicle collisions (WVC) provides data critical for sustainable transportation
planning and species distribution mapping. Across the world, systems have been created to record WVC
observations by researchers, highway maintenance workers, law officers, wildlife agency staff, insurers and
volunteers. These wildlife/roadkill observation systems (WROS) can include mobile recording devices for
data collection, a website for data management and visualisation and social media to reinforce reporting
62.1 The specific purpose and goals of the WROS may vary among systems but should always be clearly
62.2 Extensive social networks are needed for comprehensive observation systems.
62.3 Adopt a methodical approach to developing a wildlife/roadkill observation system.
62.4 Analysis and visualisation of data collected within a WROS should correspond to the goals of the
62.5 Address issues in reporter bias by using standardised data collection methods or post hoc analyses.
62.6 The advantages and disadvantages of opportunistic and targeted data collection must be carefully
considered when developing a WROS.
Volunteer science and web‐based information tools have advanced to the point where transportation or
wildlife agencies and their allies can develop, support or implement WROS to improve the sustainability of
transportation systems. However, while numerous WROS have been developed and implemented around the
world, the full potential of many systems has not been realised because they were not developed or maintained
according to the basic principles outlined in this chapter. We provide suggestions and guidance useful
for updating existing systems and developing new ones.