TRAGEDY: A koala killed hit by a car recently on Granuaille Road in Bangalow.
TRAGEDY: A koala killed hit by a car recently on Granuaille Road in Bangalow. Contributed

Download the app and help save future wildlife

ROADKILL is a tragic phenomenon all too familiar to drivers on the roads around Byron Shire.

Whether its a gorgeous capet snake or iconic koala, seeing roadkill is a tragic reality for us all.

A new citizen science project that documents numbers of animals killed on the road may go some little way to preventing further animal deaths.

The Roadkill Reporter app, developed by Bruce Englefield a PhD student and researcher in the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, is designed to allow users to take a photograph of roadkill anywhere in Australia with a GPS-time-and-date-stamp.

The image is then uploaded to a website which will enable a reliable estimate of yearly Australian roadkill to be calculated and roadkill hotspots to be identified.

"Vehicles are the new predator on the block,” Mr Englefield, a former Tasmanian of the year, said.

"Animals have no innate survival behaviour to protect themselves. Vehicles give little warning, travel at a speed unknown in any other predator and kill indiscriminately, a recipe for extinction.”

Roadkill impacts the Australian environment by wiping out more than four million mammals and six million birds, reptiles and other creatures a year.

"I got interested in roadkill when I went out one night to rescue a wombat joey that a tourist had found and, even though I was driving carefully, I hit and road-killed a possum on the way home,” said Mr Englefield.

"Then when I started my research on roadkill rescue and how this affects the wildlife carers, I found there were no national data on roadkill numbers or even wildlife carers.

Those using the app are urged to excersise extreme caution out on the road.

Roadkill Reporter is available to download here.



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