Project Roadkill: Citizen Science Based on Open Data

Case study by Florian Heigl, BOKU Vienna

The goal of Project Roadkill is to get an overview of numbers and patterns of road-killed vertebrates, in hope of helping local authorities direct mitigation actions toward roadkill hotspots. The project combines the expertise and the commitment of citizens with open data to address biodiversity loss and road safety.

CS aspects: Participants can use a smartphone app or online form to report roadkills on the project website, suggest a species identification, and upload a photograph of the carcass to support and verify their observation.

OS aspects: The project seeks to publish results in open access articles (see papers below). It  also combines open data from remote sensing with data gathered by citizen scientists for research, for instance a recent study analysed amphibian and reptilian roadkills on tertiary roads in Austria to examine the applicability of open-access remote sensing data for a large-scale citizen science approach.

Contact: Florian Heigl, Citizen Science Working Group, Department of Integrative Biology and Biodiversity Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna



Here are two more papers from the project:

Heigl, F., et. al (2016). Comparing Road-Kill Datasets from Hunters and Citizen Scientists in a Landscape Context. Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 832; doi:10.3390/rs8100832

Heigl, F. & Zaller, J. (2014). Using a Citizen Science Approach in Higher Education: A Case Study Reporting Roadkills in Austria. Human Computation (2014) 1:2:165-175.


This case study is part of the DITOs Policy Brief "Citizen Science and Open Science: Synergies and Future Areas of Work".

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