News & Notes


MEDIA RELEASE: Citizen Scientists Needed to Help Watch for Wildlife on the Road

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
Posted on:

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

May 24, 2016

Contact: Leslie Taylor, Media Manager
[email protected]
207-781-2330 x276
mobile: 347-225-1510

Wood turtle. Photo by Tom Hodgman

FALMOUTH – Maine Audubon is looking for volunteers to survey roads in Maine for signs of animal road crossings. Now that the weather has warmed up, many animals are likely to be spotted on or near Maine roads as they move to find food and water, breed or disperse to new areas. Information collected by volunteers about where different animals attempt to cross roads and where collisions are frequent can reduce wildlife road-kill and improve safety for drivers.

Roadside observations can be submitted to Maine Audubon’s Wildlife Road Watch, a web-based map and database designed to record citizen scientists’ observations of road-side and road-killed wildlife. Volunteers should visit maineaudubon.org/wildlife-road-watch to register and start submitting observations.

Information that volunteers contribute to Wildlife Road Watch is used by biologists with Maine Audubon, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and the Maine Department of Transportation to help inform policy, management and financial investment decisions that will reduce habitat fragmentation and road risks to wildlife and people.

As habitats change due to a changing climate, wildlife movement becomes an important adaptation strategy and even more crucial to species survival.  Plus, roads can have a big impact on endangered species by impeding movement and separating populations, as well as killing individuals from collisions. Unless changes are made, Maine Audubon biologists report that Blanding’s turtles and spotted turtles are at risk of becoming extinct in Maine due to road mortality.

“The observations contributed by Wildlife Road Watch volunteers provide a critical first step in identifying ways to reduce road-kill and increase safety for people and wildlife,” said Barbara Charry, Conservation Biologist/GIS Manager for Maine Audubon.

Since the inception of the Wildlife Road Watch program in 2010, over 460 volunteers have reported over 4,800 wildlife observations of 130 different wildlife species, including reports of rare and endangered species. To view an interactive map and report of the results of four years of citizen scientist observations visit maineaudubon.or/wildlife-road-watch.

To learn more about Wildlife Road Watch, contact Barbara Charry at Maine Audubon at (207) 781-2330 x225 or [email protected]

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About Maine Audubon

Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information. Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon