Wildlife on Roads began with a handbook that was authored by Kari Gunson and Fred Schueler in 2020. The handbook is meant to provide individuals with the tools to accurately document vertebrates on Ontario’s roads (turtles, snakes, birds, mammals, and amphibians). With the handbook we created an iNaturalist project (iNat). We schedule many workshops to provide an overview of the book and to teach and train individuals to collect data. We have since defined a road Worrior as a citizen scientist that is able to collect accurate and standardized data about a wildlife crossing a road.
The two most important pieces of information are identification to species and an accurate location. When an animal is road-killed, often identification to species is difficult so we provide tips for taking photos of key characteristics so the animal may be possibly be identified at a later time.
An accurate location is greatly facilitated by using satellites that occur in our skies. Our smart phones are able to use these satellites to obtain a location of an observation. Did you know you don’t even need cellular phone data to do this! The only trick is that you need to turn on your phone to measure location with your photos. Once you do this your phone is able to map your photos.
When there is enough data for a specific location, we can influence subsequent mitigation. Rouge Urban National Park has recently installed a ‘large’ easily seen Painted Turtle sign on Finch Avenue at the Amos Ponds.
Find out more information on our newly released video and please subscribe to our growing network for updates on workshops and our evolving program.