From the University of Washington's Conservation Magazine
Whales aren’t the only animals that can suffer from colliding with vehicles. In the United States alone, an estimated one million vertebrates are killed every single day thanks to unfortunate encounters with cars, trucks, buses, and other vehicles on our streets and highways. When the animals-turned-roadkill are larger, like deer and other ungulates, those collisions also cost quite a bit of money. The 1-2 million large animals that get hit by cars each year in the US result in $8.4 billion in damages. The cost isn’t all monetary, though. Some five percent of wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) result in human injuries, and around 200 people die each year either directly from collisions, or from complications arising from their injuries. For Utah State University Daniel D. Olson and colleagues, these statistics mean that “there is a current, critical need for accurate and standardized WVC data, because these are the foundation for mitigation projects that protect both motorists and wildlife.”
As is usually the case, there are limited resources to fund measures designed mitigate WVCs, like “exclusionary fencing” around roads, or wildlife overpasses or underpasses. The more data we have on where and when WVCs are most likely to occur, the more thoughtfully those mitigation measures can be deployed.
WVC data have been collected by ecologists and land managers for nearly 100 years, and over the course of the last century the technology for doing so has not changed one bit: pen and paper. But the last decade began to see some innovation. WVC logging software was designed for personal digital assistants (remember those?), but since they weren’t connected to the Internet, large data files still had to be manually transferred. Another entrepreneur designed a camera that could be outfitted to vehicle dashboards. While that allowed at least for photographic species identification, data still required manual transfer. In the last few years, some states have created web portals through which drivers can enter information and photos, but users still need an internet connection to do it (and broadband speeds are limited for mobile devices in rural areas), and spatial data is limited to descriptors like “Highway 345, mile marker 17″ rather than precise GPS coordinates.
See rest of article here: http://conservationmagazine.org/2014/06/preventing-wildlife-vehicle-collisions-one-smartphone-at-a-time/
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