A new app has been created to log roadkill across the country.
It is estimated that each year one million mammals are killed on UK roads, including thousands of animals across Sussex.
This summer, wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is asking the public to record sightings of roadkill, using the app or using a survey pack, as part of their ongoing conservation work for British mammals.
Mammals on Roads, which records sightings of live mammals too, informs PTES as to where mammals are present and helps the charity to monitor changing mammal populations across the UK and take action if needed.
PTES has co-ordinated Mammals on Roads since 2001 and since then, over half a million kilometres of road have been surveyed.
Mammals on Roads plays a vital role in the ongoing conservation of British wildlife and findings from this and other PTES surveys showed that hedgehog numbers have declined by over a third in the last decade alone.
Based on these findings, PTES has initiated campaigns to help protect hedgehogs – such as Hedgehog Street, a joint campaign with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, which now has thousands of ‘Hedgehog Champions’ committed to help save the humble hedgehog from further decline.
Mammals on Roads requires the public to record sightings of mammals, dead or alive, any time up to September 30.
To record mammal sightings your car journey must be 20 miles or more (excluding urban areas, dual carriageways and motorways) and completed in one day - perfect for summer day trips and family holidays.
Iconic British mammals that you might spot include foxes, badgers, deer and rabbits, but PTES also wants to hear about any sightings of more unusual mammals such as polecats and pine martens.
David Wembridge, Surveys Officer at PTES says: “No-one likes seeing roadkill, but recording it as part of a survey like Mammals on Roads tells us about wildlife more widely. Comparing records year to year enables us to build a picture of how a population is changing, which is key to conservation.
“Without the help of volunteers, it’s almost impossible to identify these sorts of changes nationally and to spot population trends. Citizen science is essential to conservation — without the efforts of individuals recording the wildlife they see, we would not have the evidence of the recent decline in hedgehog numbers. If you’re going on a road trip this summer, take part in the survey, keep an eye out for mammals and get involved in conservation.”
To take part, you can download the free Mammals on Roads app from the App Store and Google Play.
Alternatively, the survey can be completed via a printed survey pack. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 498 4533 to request a pack to be sent to you.