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Winter 2014

Newsletter Archive


New Citizen Science App: Collision Count

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Ever wonder if underpasses and fencing are effective investments for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions and improving safe passage for wildlife across highways? In partnership with Western Transportation Institute and Road Watch in the Pass, we have developed a new citizen science program to monitor sites along Highway 3 where we have recommended the Government of Alberta build infrastructure (such as wildlife underpasses and fencing) to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions.

Monitoring at these sites will be completed through a newly developed citizen science program called "Collision Count" whereby citizens walk a series of transects parallel to the highway and record road kill observations using a Collision Count smart phone app. Transects will be established at three of the mitigation sites along Highway 3, two of which are sites Alberta Transportation is evaluating for costs associated with mitigation infrastructure. The app enables participants to identify the transect they are walking, view the transect route on a map, record road kill observations (including species, number of individuals) and upload a photo (to aid with species identification).

The information collected by citizens will be used to establish a detailed pre-mitigation analysis of the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions occurring at the identified sites. Monitoring will continue after the infrastructure to improve safe passage of wildlife across Highway 3 has been built. A comparison of the data from before and after construction will enable us to evaluate the effectiveness of the infrastructure to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. This program will contribute important knowledge for transportation planners as they address high wildlife-vehicle collision zones along highways in the future. To learn more about this project please contact tracy@rockies.ca.