New app helps public report roadkill to make Utah roads safer
The Utah Department of Transportation and the Division of Wildlife Resources are teaming up to make the roads safer for drivers and wildlife with a new app for Utahns to report roadkill.
The DWR and UDOT are working to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions with wildlife crossing structures and now they are adding a new technological tool to their arsenal, the Utah Roadkill Reporter app.
The free app will allow people to report the location and description of the dead animals on or near the roadways so authorities can remove them, preventing them from becoming additional traffic hazards.
The Utah Roadkill Reporter app uses GPS tracking technology to collect high-accuracy data on reported animal carcasses, animal carcasses that have been picked up and pick-up routes being completed.
UDOT and DWR urge the public never to use the app while driving and suggest safely staying in your vehicle when submitting a report.
If a passenger can't submit a report, drivers are encouraged to upload the report later using a mile marker near where the animal was spotted.
The state agencies also strongly discourage the public from picking up roadkill; trained crews will do that once they receive the report.
“It is important for us to understand how many wildlife-vehicle collisions occur in Utah,” DWR Utah Migration Initiative Coordinator Blair Stringham said. “This new app will allow us to know exactly when and where collisions occur, which will help us identify hot spot areas on Utah highways. We can then work with UDOT and other partners to install underpasses, fencing, wildlife overpasses and other structures to reduce collisions in those areas and keep wildlife and people safe.”
Along with providing information about potential areas for wildlife crossings, the data collected through the app will also benefit the Utah Wildlife Migration Initiative and its efforts to learn more about the annual migration patterns of different animal species in Utah.
The most reported wildlife-vehicle collisions in Utah are with deer and elk. So far this year, there have been 4,900 reported collisions with deer, 166 reported collisions with elk and 20 reported collisions with moose. However, the DWR said the actual number of collisions is likely twice as high because many incidents go unreported.