Good take-up of new app helping scientists better understand roadkill

​​​​More than two-thousand people have downloaded the new app recording native roadkill on Tasmanian roads.

The free Roadkill Tas app was launched in July and allows for consistent data collection to help develop a greater understanding of roadkill hotspots, as well as the species involved.

It is pleasing to see that up until the beginning of December, 2030 people have downloaded the Roadkill Tas app and started to make reports.

To date, more than 5,200 reports have been made.

The app collects the data in real-time and maps of the reports show roadkill is being recorded right across the state, on arterial highways as well as local roads.

The Roadkill Tas app is being trialled in Tasmania for two years.

Sam Fox from the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program says while it is pleasing to see how many people have started using the app, more user input would be beneficial.

“We encourage anyone who is travelling on the roads to download the app and start using it so we can build our database and develop a better understanding of the roadkill risk for all species,” Dr Fox said. “All the data collected assists with management and mitigation techniques to try to reduce the amount of roadkill on Tasmanian roads, and protect native and threatened species.”

The app has also provided data on three aspects of wildlife in Tasmania. This includes the:
  • ​Presence of abundant species that provide risk to motorists including deer, large wallabies and wombats,
  • Roadkill risk to threatened and vulnerable species and,
  • Presence and location of feral species.
Late spring and summer often results in a spike in native roadkill across the state. This is a time when motorists are reminded to take extra care driving at night and to slow down between dusk and dawn.

Dr Fox says late spring is also when the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) launches its annual Roadkill awareness campaign.

“Reporting road-killed Tasmanian devils helps provide information on numbers and the geographic pattern of devils killed across Tasmania. This helps with mitigation strategies and also assists with efforts to monitor the spread of devil facial tumour disease,” Dr Fox said..

“While reporting roadkill is helpful, it is important to remember that people should never compromise their own safety or the safety of other people travelling with them in order to do so.”

People need to be aware of their surroundings and safety, and remember it’s illegal to use the Roadkill Tas app while driving.

The app’s development was made possible by a generous $20,000 donation through the Tasmanian Devil Ambassador Program from the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in Indiana in the United States. 

The Roadkill Tas app can be downloaded for free from the iTunes and Google Play​ stores.

Facts at a glance from the Roadkill Tas app

  • The new Roadkill Tas app has recorded roadkill across a number of native species including: Common Ringtail possums, Tasmanian pademelons, Bennetts wallabies, Brushtail possums, Common wombats, bandicoots, quolls, Tasmanian devils and Echidnas.

  • While the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) has been recording devil roadkill for some time, and larger animals such as pademelons and possums are easily seen as roadkill, the roadkill risk for some species was not known because it wasn’t being reported.

  • This includes smaller species such as bandicoots, quolls, native hens and Tasmanian bettongs.

  • The figures show roadkill is a risk for many native species, not just those that are threatened and endangered.

  • The app has also collected a number of reports of mums with pouch young. The majority of these reports have noted that the pouch young was sadly already deceased.

  • If you find a live animal that requires assistance please call Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary on 0447 264 625.

More information about the Roadkill Tas app​
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