Local scientific data is important for understanding the destruction of wild animals

Local scientific data is important in understanding the mortality of wild animals, according to a study in Flanders

Between 2008 and 2020, the Flemish Animals program under the wheels collected about 90,000 road death documents. Found: Diemer Vercayie

The road is a dangerous place for animals: They can move easily, which can seriously affect wildlife species and populations in the long run. There is an economic cost to the human economy that can lead to injury or death from these accidents, even if more animals fall or try to avoid them along the way.

Caring for trails for animals and people begins with a simple task: knowing when, where, and how many animals have traveled. This information can help prevent specific traits, for example with the use of signage, prevent access to roads for animals, constructing overpasses and subways, or blocking roads. Road death data can also help look at other factors, such as population size, species distribution, and animal species.

Thanks to local scientific standards, obtaining this kind of data is not a task reserved for scientists. There are now dozens of free, easy -to -use web -based systems, where one can record wildlife accidents or road deaths, providing a full picture that can be used later to understand. in policy activities.

One such program is Flemish Animals Under the Wheels, where users can register the road death they have seen, add the date, time and geolocation online. or the use of software. The data is stored on the biodiversity database Waarnemingen.be, the Flemish authority of the Observation.org.

Between 2008 and 2020, the program collected approximately 90,000 road death records from Flanders, Belgium, registered by more than 4,000 local scientists. Roadkill’s recording is only a small part of their recording efforts in nature – the multi -purpose platform is able to record living things. That’s probably why the volunteers have continued the program for 6 years now.

As a first for science, researchers from Natuurpunt Studie, the largest science firm affiliated with the NGO Nature in Flanders, with support from the Department of Environmental and Spatial Development, were set to analyze on 10 years of roadkill history in the country, using data. provided by local scientists. During their studies, it was published in a journal for peer review Nature Conservationthey focused on the important species of mammals and their impact on the streets of Flanders.

The researchers analyzed data on 145,000 km of transects observed, and found records of 1,726 mammals and 2,041 birds. However, most of the data – more than 60,000 bird and street killing stories – was collected in a timely manner, which requires accurate data sampling in “enigmatic” ways. “more. Red foxes, red foxes and red squirrels are the most frequently registered street killers.

Over the past decade, road fatalities in Flanders have decreased, the study shows, as searches have increased. This may result in minimizing road congestion, such as fences, crossings, or animal identification systems. On the other hand, it may be a sign of a decline in population among those animals that are more likely to be killed by cars. Further research is needed to understand the exact cause. Over the past 11 years, European polecat killings have shown a significant decline in morbidity, while seven species, including roe deer and wild boar, show an increase. relevance of recorded events.

It seems that there is a clear influence of COVID-19 disease on road conditions for some conditions. Restricting the movement that followed led at the same time to fewer deaths and less search activity.

The amount of new information left on Waarnemingen.be continues each year, with data for 2021 pointing to around 9 million. However, scientists say that such recorded information is “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“Local science is very important in researching the killing of wild animals,” the researchers concluded. “If you don’t have your studies, street death in Flanders is a black box.”

Roadkill could accelerate the extinction of the mammal population

More information:
Kristijn RR Swinnen et al, ‘Animals under the wheels’: Street homicide data collected by local scientists as part of their recording work. Nature Conservation (2022). DOI: 10.3897 / natureconservation.47.72970

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Directions: Local scientific data important for understanding wildlife mortality (2022, March 28) Retrieved 29 March 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-03- citizen-science-crucial-wildlife-roadkill.html

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