Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species is calling for volunteers to record any sightings of roadkill via a free app, in a bid to aid wildlife conservation.
From late August onwards, families, friends or colleagues travelling by road across England, Scotland and Wales can take part by simply downloading PTES’ free Mammals on Roads app ahead of their journey, and recording any roadkill spotted from their car, coach or campervan.
No prior experience is needed and anyone can join in. The app has colourful illustrations and audio information about which species you might see, and whether it’s a hedgehog, fox or badger, counting mammal road casualties can tell conservationists about numbers in the wider landscape.
David Wembridge, Mammal Surveys Coordinator at People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) says: ‘Although roadkill isn’t nice to see, it can be a useful indication of where mammals are living, and where they aren’t. Contrary to what you’d think, a lot of roadkill in an area can be a sign that there are lots of animals nearby. But, to build a national picture of how our different mammal species are faring, and to understand which species are most at risk and need our help, we need more people to take part.’
Britain is home to around 55 terrestrial mammal species that are either native and naturalised – introduced species that have become an integrated part of our wild landscape. Most volunteers taking part in Mammals on Roads are likely to see the more common or recognisable species, such as rabbits, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers, and various deer species. Species like pine martens, weasels and wild boar are less-often seen, but still live in Britain’s woodlands, grasslands and wider countryside. All species, whether common or elusive, are important to record if spotted.
To find out more about PTES’ wider conservation work, visit www.ptes.org.
Image: Hedgehogs are one of the many mammal species volunteers are asked to look out for and record via PTES’ Mammals on Roads app. Credit Ricky Wood.