Wanted: your roadkill photos

Documenting roadkill via new app will help identify hotspots

News
ANIMALS IN PERIL: More than four million mammals and six million birds, reptiles and other creatures are killed by vehicles every year.

ANIMALS IN PERIL: More than four million mammals and six million birds, reptiles and other creatures are killed by vehicles every year.

Aa

Join in the nationwide citizen science project.

Aa

You're being urged to slow down, stop the car and take a photo of any dead animals you see by the roadside.

It is part of a citizen science project documenting roadkill during October.

Bruce Englefield, 76, a PhD student in veterinary science, has developed a new digital application app that can photograph and document roadkill across Australia.

The aim is to calculate a reliable yearly estimate of roadkill to identify hotspots where wildlife are most at risk.

Roadkill impacts the environment by wiping out more than four million mammals and six million birds, reptiles and other creatures a year.

"Vehicles are the new predator on the block," Mr Englefield, a researcher in the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, said.

"Animals have no innate survival behaviour to protect themselves.

"Vehicles give little warning, travel at a speed unknown in any other predator and kill indiscriminately, a recipe for extinction."

BLESS THE BEASTS: Bruce Englefield, who has developed the RoadKill Reporter app.

BLESS THE BEASTS: Bruce Englefield, who has developed the RoadKill Reporter app.

The Roadkill Reporter app, developed by Mr Englefield, is designed to take a photo of roadkill anywhere in Australia with a GPS-time-and-date-stamp.

(Of course, drivers are urged to pull over only where it is absolutely safe do so.)

Users can then upload the image to a website. The free app is available now for iPhone and Android phones.

"I got interested in roadkill when I went out one night to rescue a wombat joey that a tourist had found and, even though I was driving carefully, I hit and road-killed a possum on the way home," said Mr Englefield, who is based in Tasmania.

"Then when I started my research on roadkill rescue and how this affects the wildlife carers, I found there were no national data on roadkill numbers or even wildlife carers.

"By getting people involved it will highlight just how serious a problem roadkill is not only for humans and the animals, but also for the environment and conservation."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by