Why You Should Take Photos Of Roadkill For Science
Aussie drivers are being asked to take photos of roadkill they see because 'vehicles are the new predator on the block'.
Ten million Australian mammals, birds and reptiles are killed on our roads each year, which means road kill is threatening the survival of native species.
Animals under threat include koalas, wedge-tailed eagles and Tasmanian devils.
It might sound grim, but the University of Sydney is asking Aussie drivers to take and share photos of dead animals left on the roadside.
The university's researchers want the photos for their database to provide insight into the country's yearly roadkill figures, and to work out which roads are the deadliest for native wildlife.
The university's veterinary science researcher Bruce Englefield warned drivers to be aware of animals on the road, as they do no have the survival instincts to protect themselves from vehicles.
“Vehicles are the new predator on the block,” he said.
“Vehicles give little warning, travel at a speed unknown in any other predator and kill indiscriminately, a recipe for extinction.”
Englefield and his team want Aussies to download the 'Roadkill Reporter' app and use it to take and share photos when they find animals killed on the road.
The app is free on iPhone and Android.
Each photo taken will be marked with a GPS-time-and-date-stamp anywhere in Australia.
From there the photo is sent for analysis.
“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,” he said.
Englefield became interested in researching roadkill after he accidentally hit and killed a possum while driving.
"When I started my research on roadkill rescue and how this affects the wildlife carers, I found there was no national data on roadkill numbers or even wildlife carers."
For those who do stop to take a photo, always remember to take care on the road and only do so if it is safe.