Talk The Evolution of Global Carcass & Accident Reporting Systems
  • Fraser M Shilling
    Bio statement : I am the co-director of the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis. I driect research and education programs at the REC and within the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis.

    Reviewing interests: roadkill, road effect zone, wildlife crossing structrues, camera traps, monitoring, connectivity, traffic noise, sea level rise, sustainability.
    Country : US
    Contact :
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There are dozens of systems around the world for collecting observations of a few species, or all species of animals killed on roads. Large extent (territory or nation-scale) Carcass and/or Accident Reporting Systems (CARS) are becoming increasingly common. These range in complexity from the WAZE app that allows the recording of a roadkill with no identification, to records emailed to project managers, to combined phone app and web-system collection and management of data. Although the system developers and managers are increasingly in contact with each other, there has been little attempt to develop or use a standard format for: 1) field data collection, 2) metadata, 3) data organization, 4) data visualization, 5) data analysis, 6) data sharing, and 7) system administration/participation. These systems have the ability to revolutionize the awareness of wildlife losses and risk to drivers from wildlife-vehicle collisions. Because of the extent, resolution, and taxonomic variety possible in the datasets from the systems, they have the potential for contributing to ecological studies at a wide range of extents. The systems seem to fall under a particular typology defined by classification of goals and objectives, methods of reporting, methods of visualization, types of metadata collected, and analytical outputs. The proposed session will explore this typology, using examples of CARS from around the world. These systems range considerably in their stage of evolution and use of particular technologies. Each paper in the proposed session will describe the evolution of their particular system to meet their stated goals and objectives, elucidate their methods of data collection, and discuss ways that the data collected can be analyzed and used to improve transportation systems. The primary goals of systems are: 1) to inform efforts to reduce risks to drivers; 2) reducing risks to wildlife from collisions; and 3) a combination of (1) and (2). Minor, but increasingly important goals are: 1) to understand the role of avoidance of collisions with animals in resulting accidents; 2) long-term tracking of individual species presence/absence and species diversity; and 3) to involve people in scientific projects and wildlife conservation. The primary methods of data collection include: 1) web-based forms, 2) smartphone apps, 3) manually processed, text-based reporting, and 4) collection of agency-collected data (e.g., carcass removal or crash data). The primary data collected about an observation include: 1) location of observation/event, 2) date/time, 3) species or species group, 4) method of observation, 5) observer identity and affiliation, and 6) environmental/infrastructural conditions. Most systems use some form of online mapping to report and visualize observations. This mapping is carried forward into analysis and reporting to agencies and the public. Participants in the session will come away with a greater understanding of the current state of knowledge and practice in global CARS. It is likely that they will have an improved ability to begin their own system in other regions, or to improve existing systems.

wildlife-vehicle collision, roadkill, crash, sustainable transportation