This week I wanted to tell you about Project Splatter! You might think it was an art related project but in fact it is about roadkill. We have loads of badgers that live here at the Falls of Clyde and they are very lucky because they live far away from roads. Badgers are the biggest casualty of roadkill, it is estimated over 50,000 badgers are killed on the roads every year.
Project splatter collates data member of the public send to them on the location of UK wildlife roadkill – birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles. This research is run by members of the public – termed ‘citizen scientists’. Members of the public see wildlife roadkill and report to Project Splatter; where, when and what, giving as accurate a location as possible.
At Cardiff University they turn your sighting into a grid reference and then use GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to map where the roadkill is across the UK, which they then report back to their citizen scientists on Twitter (@ProjectSplatter) and Facebook (SplatterProject13) and on the Maps page on their website (www.projectsplatter.wordpress.com).
You might be wondering why they are doing this and it’s a good question to ask. They want to collect data to ultimately reduce the impact of roads on our wildlife. So, for example, if from the data collected they find out a road has a particularly high volume of roadkill also known as a roadkill hotspot. We can aim to reduce this by putting in tunnels, fencing, signage or even a wildlife bridge!
So, if you see roadkill please report it and help us reduce roadkill in the future. Reports can be submitted on their website using the ‘report data to us’ tab at the top of the page.
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger