Biodiversity Civic Tech

Roadkills: Citizen science initiative on wildlife deaths

Researchers say 99 percent of wild animals or species killed in road accidents are never recorded.

New Delhi : The Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) has launched ‘Roadkills’ – a citizen science initiative – to collect data on mortality of wild animals on roads, irrigation canals or railway lines in India.

The data collected would be useful to researchers and infrastructure planners across the country to help in reducing wildlife mortality, install wildlife crossing structures at the identified locations and also improve passenger safety whenever a road or railway line is planned or upgraded, the WCT said in a statement.

“Long term data on roadkills from different habitat types can help scientists to identify the sites for planning effective mitigation measures,” it said, adding the data collected by citizens will form a huge database, which will help identify right locations for the mitigation measures thus minimising roadlkills.

According to the WCT, at least 99 percent of wild animals or species killed in road accidents which were never recorded.

While deaths of large mammals such as tigers and elephants were known, thousands of mortalities of endangered species of birds, amphibians, small mammals and reptiles went unrecorded.

Researchers and infrastructure planners wanting access to data can write to the WCT by stating their purpose and the data will be made available free of cost under a Creative Commons license, it said.

WCT President Anish Andheria said the data would be made available for better planning of roads and railway lines for a wildlife friendly and better society.

“We call upon other wildlife conservation organisations to join this initiative and make the data collection effort larger and more inclusive,” he said, as per the statement.

  • IANS

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