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The value of monitoring wildlife roadkill

Williams Schwartz, Amy L., Shilling, Fraser M. and Perkins, Sarah E. 2020. The value of monitoring wildlife roadkill. European Journal of Wildlife Research 66 , 18. 10.1007/s10344-019-1357-4

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Abstract

The number of wildlife-vehicle collisions has an obvious value in estimating the direct effects of roads on wildlife, i.e. mortality due to vehicle collisions. Given the nature of the data—species identification and location—there is, however, much wider ecological knowledge that can be gained by monitoring wildlife roadkill. Here, we review the added value and opportunities provided by these data, through a series of case studies where such data have been instrumental in contributing to the advancement of knowledge in species distributions, population dynamics, and animal behaviour, as well as informing us about health of the species and of the environment. We propose that consistently, systematically, and extensively monitoring roadkill facilitates five critical areas of ecological study: (1) monitoring of roadkill numbers, (2) monitoring of population trends, (3) mapping of native and invasive species distributions, (4) animal behaviour, and (5) monitoring of contaminants and disease. The collection of such data also offers a valuable opportunity for members of the public to be directly involved in scientific data collection and research (citizen science). Through continuing to monitor wildlife roadkill, we can expand our knowledge across a wide range of ecological research areas, as well as facilitating investigations that aim to reduce both the direct and indirect effects of roads on wildlife populations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 1612-4642
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 29 December 2019
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2020 00:35
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/128270

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