Instead of playing car games or installing DVD players and the like for your little darlings during that trip on holiday you could always ask them to do some spying for the environment.
Motorists are being requested to chip in and report animal roadkills to the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) to assist in data collection. The EWT, with Bridgestone as a sponsor, has been actively collecting roadkill data on South African roads for the last year through its Wildlife and Roads Project. A national campaign was also launched to encourage members of the public to assist with roadkill data collection through the reporting of their sightings.
“The campaign has been very successful, and numerous volunteers have been collecting roadkill data, not just in South Africa, but also in Namibia and Botswana,” said Bridgestone PR Manager, Desirée van Niekerk.
The project, which was launched with a highly successful study in 2012, has continued to collect data to identify roadkill hotspots. This data will ultimately help protect animals from vehicles and vehicles from animals. While many roadkill are small animals which pose no danger to motorists, a crash involving larger animals like buck can be fatal.
Head of the EWT’s Wildlife and Roads project, Wendy Collinson says that over 5000 roadkill data points had already submitted by members of the public. “More data will help us to accurately assess the level of impact that roads and traffic pose to our wildlife,” Collinson said.
“Participants should specify the location of the roadkill (preferably GPS co-ordinates), try to identify the species seen and record the date on which it was seen,” she explained.” Recorded roadkill sightings and photographs can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and via the EWT’s Road Watch South Africa smartphone app. “Once we receive a sighting, it is added to our database to help us improve the accuracy of our observations,” she added.
Recording roadkill sightings is not just a way to help the EWT – there are also prizes up for grabs for the three members of the public who accurately record and submit the most roadkill sightings before January 31, 2015. The prizes include two Desert Fox five-litre fuel cells and two spotlight sets. To encourage reports from motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable to encounters with large animals on the roads, there are two Zeus ZS 2100B helmets on offer, a set of off-road tyres and five tyre repair kits.
Bridgestone’s van Niekerk reminded motorists that no roadkill was too large or small to be reported. “Whether it’s a bird or lizard, a jackal, or even a Kudu, if you see a roadkill, call it in,” she said. “The EWT roadkill project is a valuable contribution to wildlife protection and road safety and we encourage all motorists to take part,” she concluded.
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