New mobile app helps report wildlife road kills in India

Updated: Jan 25, 2018, 11:28 IST | A Correspondent

Wildlife Conservation Trust hopes to create an elaborate database pertaining to accident-prone areas with the new 'Roadkills' app; citizens can help by uploading geotagged photos of injured animals on roads

WCT sources say that most animal deaths on roads go unrecordedWCT sources say that most animal deaths on roads go unrecorded

Thousands of road networks across the country cut through areas that form the natural habitat of wild animals. As a result, animal casualties are frequent in such regions, especially along the highways. In order to check the loss of wildlife, the NGO Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) has launched a mobile-based application, Roadkills, to collect data pertaining to accident-prone areas, so that the government can undertake remedial measures. Citizens can also contribute to the drive by uploading geotagged photos of injured animals on roads.

The app
Sources confirmed that data generated would be shared with concerned government departments, including the forest department, so that mitigation measures can be planned when projects are proposed. The app, available for free on Google Play, has been segregated into three parts. The first part requires users to report if it's a wild or domestic animal that has become a victim of road rush. The second part involves specifying the area or location where the animal is situated. Then, if possible, the user needs to upload a picture of the injured animal. Consequently, the user may be asked if there were any human casualties in the incident.

To build a database
WCT chief Dr Anish Andheria said, "Each year countless small and big animals fall prey to road accidents, especially on those stretches that cut through forests and wildlife corridors. As India builds new infrastructure, existing roads will get wider, dirt roads will get metalled and several new roads will be built through the last remaining forests of India. As a result, road kills will escalate further. The only way of reducing casualties of hapless wildlife and also of people who get involved in car accidents with large animals, is to build efficient mitigation structures such as over- and under-passes in strategic locations, where animals are most likely to cross."

Andheria added that the app would help in generating a database of wildlife accidents on Indian roads. "Wildlife-vehicle collisions, accidents and deaths are on the rise due to increasing traffic and wider roads passing through forests. Most of these deaths go unrecorded. Now, with the Roadkills app, it's possible to prevent such deaths. It's a great way for wildlife enthusiasts, travellers, bikers, backpackers, and anybody who cares to make a difference and help save India's wild animals."

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