Australia has no national roadkill monitoring scheme. To address this gap in knowledge, a roadkill reporting application (app) was developed to allow members of the public to join professional researchers in gathering Australian data.
The app is used to photograph roadkill and simultaneously records the GPS location, time and date. These data are uploaded immediately to a website for data management.
To illustrate the capacity to facilitate cost-effective mitigation measures the article focuses on two roadkill hotspots-in Queensland and Tasmania.
In total, 1609 reports were gathered in the first three months of the project. They include data on mammals (n= 1203, 75 per cent), birds (n= 125, 7.8 per cent), reptiles (n= 79, 4.9 per cent), amphibians (n= 4, 0.025 per cent), unidentified (n= 189, 11.8 per cent) and unserviceable ones (n= 9).
A significant finding is variance in the distribution of mammals and birds at different times of day. These findings reflect diurnal variation in the activity levels of different species and underline the need for data on a targeted species to be collected at appropriate times of day.
By continuing to facilitate roadkill monitoring, it is anticipated that the data generated by the app will directly increase knowledge of roadkill numbers and hotspots. Indirectly, it will provide value-added information on animal behaviour, disease and population dynamics as well as for species distribution mapping.
The study is from the University of Sydney, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Englefield B; Starling M; Wilson B ,et al. Animals (Basel) 2020;10(7):1112.