Roadkill is unfortunately a common sight across the north-east of Scotland. Records of what is seen on our local roads can help to contribute to a major project in recording the mammals of the area.
The North East Scotland Biological Records Centre (NESBReC) is appealing for help to record mammal roadkill in the area. The information will help with the creation of a Mammal Atlas for Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Cairngorms National Park. Around one million mammals are killed on UK roads each year, according to the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. If even a fraction of roadkills were recorded it would greatly increase the coverage of the mammal atlas records being collated.
In a citizen science project called ‘Project Splatter’, badgers were the most recorded species of road kill recorded on UK roads in 2013 so far, followed by foxes and rabbits. Hedgehogs are another common sight at the side of our roads but numbers of the UK’s only spiny mammal are falling to dangerously low levels. For these reasons all mammal records are important, even those of roadkill.For a record to be entered into the Mammal Atlas there needs to be four types of information:
- What? What species did you see?
- Where? Where did you see it? (Giving as accurate a location as possible, ideally with a grid reference but this is not essential)
- When? A note of the date you saw the animal
- Who? Who saw it?
Pictures can be sent to NESBReC even if you are not sure what the mammal is. If you are stopping to identify road kill or take pictures, please be sure to pull over into a safe area so you are not obstructing traffic.
The project is supported by LEADER funding.
NESBReC manager, Glenn Roberts, said
By sending in records of roadkill, as well as contributing to the Mammal Atlas, people can help to identify where there may be hotspots or issues with particular species. This information can then be used by local councils to implement mechanisms to reduce wildlife deaths.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Committee, Councillor Isobel Davidson, said
Nobody likes to see roadkill at the side of the road, but if recording what you see can help the Mammal Atlas, that has to be a good thing. This is a great opportunity for everyone who uses the north-east roads to take part in what will be a significant study for this area.
Find out more about the Mammal Atlas at www.nesbrec.org.uk
NESBReC is a partnership between Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, the University of Aberdeen, the RSPB and Forestry Commission Scotland.