A roadkill app has been unveiled in South Africa, not just to alert drivers to potential danger of dead animals lying in the road, but to enable the Endangered Wildlife Trust to monitor the pattern of wildlife movement and threats posed by vehicles, as reported by urbanearth.co.za.
Drivers and pedestrians are asked to report the location, species, time and date of animals killed on the roads. The app works on Facebook, WhatsApp, SMS and Linkedin, and 1, 000 reports have been made so far. WTP’s field Officer, Wendy Collinson, hopes the app will train people to be more aware of creatures around them, will take more preventative measures to avoid harming them, and report if they see a creature that has been killed on the road. Collinson also wants the public to pay more attention to dead reptiles and snakes, the latter of which she suspects are sometimes hit on purpose, but are vital to the maintenance of the ecosystem.
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The greatest fatalities occur, ironically, in South Africa’s protected areas for wildlife. Tourism in these places makes up 7.9% of the GDP. The app will enable authorities to make changes in transportation that will enable tourists to get to their destination and preserve wildlife. The highest number of wildlife killed on the roads are during mating seasons, and not necessarily when the traffic is at its height. Efforts have worked in the past; the EWT’s campaign to reduce road mortality of the endangered Leopard Toad resulted in a 23.7% reduction in deaths of the animal on the road.