The use of crowd sourcing to conduct research and create support for wildlife crossings

To ensure the sustainable functionality of wildlife crossings it is essential that these structures are being monitored and/or maintained regularly. However, in performing these activities we noticed that there is a lack of attention, priority and budget for monitoring and maintainance. Also, examples of failed wildlife crossing functionalities in the media lead to a lack of suport by the general public. Efforts to increase support are very limited. What is needed is more monitoring of wildlife crossings, more communication on wildlife migration and to generate more support and attention for wildlife crossings.

Arcadis has developed a solution that combines these needs. Together with the Province of Overijssel (Dutch government) we developed a webtool based on the principle of crowd sourcing, called ('wildlife'). Images of camera traps used in monitoring wildlife crossings are shared on this webtool with the general public. Visitors are asked to determine the images by clicking on the right species. The image will be determined by the species with the most number of votes. Images can be shared on social media and visitors get a user status based on the rate of correct answers. So basically, the analysis of data is being outsourced to the general public. Crowd sourcing has proven to be a reliable source of information. The webtool generates standard lists and graphs as input for a report. Outsourcing and automating the analysis makes monitoring projects less expensive and more attractive to perform.

The purpose of the tool is to:

  • Perform a proper monitoring research based on crowd sourcing, thereby reducing costs and improving the data quality;
  • Sharing the functionality of wildlife crossings;
  • Creating attention, involvement and support for wildlife crossings, but also for wildlife migration and the potential hazards on the road.

This spring the webtool will go live. In our presentation we would like to demonstrate the tool and talk about:

  • the first results
  • the strenght of the technique
  • the advantages of public involvement


The concept of crowd monitoring to learn about fauna passages and communicate about this passages via website is something new. Crowd monitoring is a common activity yet using the public for animal monitoring at fauna passages is unique at least in the Netherlands. There is some experience in other countries, per example in Tanzania *1. This way the general public learns about the functioning of these passages which animals cross it and spread the word that most of these passages are really functional.

Lessons learnt:

  • > 98 percent of the answers is correct;
  • How to use (social) media to familiarize people with the concept of crowd monitoring of wildlife passages
  • Crowd monitoring works to share information from the province to the general public which is mostly a difficult task.
  • Sharing the successes of fauna passages with the general public gives more understanding for the construction of these passages.

First results show that more than 50 percent of the users are below 35 years. This is a target group that is mostly hard to reach

monitoring – wildlife crossing – crowdsourcing – communication – public participation – webtool – camera traps – creating support – Arcadi