I really enjoyed my afternoon with SUNY Plattsburgh wildlife ecologist Danielle Garneau. We drove around for almost 2 hours looking for road kill – and saw a skunk, 2 squirrels, two raccoons, a cat, and an unfortunate rabbit separated from its tail.
I must admit, I never thought of road kill as data. But I’m really interested in what we can learn from the animals – and so now I’m going to start tracking road kill too. If you’re interested in participating in the road kill citizen science project, click here* for more information.
Basically, you download EpiCollect, a free app for your phone. Then you set “RoadkillGarneau” as your project. Click new entry, and you’ll see a form. Fill out location, date, animal taxon, weather, etc. The app is a little buggy, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few tries. Don’t forget to save your entry and click SYNC to send the data to the project server.
If you don’t have a smart phone, you can still participate. Go to the project page, click on the map, and you can upload a picture and data about the roadkill you saw.
Be sure to be safe – don’t run out into oncoming traffic and only track animals you can safely access.
Happy, erm, hunting!
*11/29/12 Link is updated to Garneau’s professional website, which includes instructions on how to get started tracking roadkill. You can also contact her with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org