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The Green Life: What To Do When You See Roadkill? If You're in California, Report It.

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September 25, 2009

What To Do When You See Roadkill? If You're in California, Report It.

Report roadkill

Unfortunately, it’s a common sight on California's highways and byways: the squashed, bloody remains of a poor animal that became the victim of a speeding car.

Roadkill provokes a variety of responses. Some people can’t help but look. Others shudder in disgust or turn away in sadness. A few have even gone the extreme “urban-forager” route and transformed roadkill into cuisine.

But now, Californians can take action. How? By reporting roadkill sightings to the California Roadkill Observation System. The project, developed at UC Davis, aims to increase understanding of how roads affect ecosystems, and is part of an emerging field called “road ecology.” We already know that cars kill large numbers of animals every year; the project's aim is to get more detailed information about where roadkill occurs most often, and which animals tend to fall victim.

Contributing to the project is simple: Just fill out the online observation form, entering the type of animal, location, and other basic information about a roadkill sighting. You don’t have to register or enter any personal information, though it’s recommended that you do so if you plan to report many sightings.

Solving any problem is tough without good information. The CROS project could yield data that leads to fewer creatures killed by cars.

--Année Tousseau

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