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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 832; doi:10.3390/rs8100832

Comparing Road-Kill Datasets from Hunters and Citizen Scientists in a Landscape Context

1
Institute of Zoology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Gregor Mendel Straße 33, Vienna 1180, Austria
2
Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Gregor Mendel Straße 33, Vienna 1180, Austria
3
Institute of Surveying, Remote Sensing and Land Information, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Peter-Jordan Straße 82, Vienna 1190, Austria
4
Institute of Applied Statistics and Computing, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Peter-Jordan Straße 82, Vienna 1190, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Steffen Fritz, Cidália Costa Fonte, Clement Atzberger and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 30 July 2016 / Revised: 23 September 2016 / Accepted: 28 September 2016 / Published: 10 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Citizen Science and Earth Observation)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1002 KB, uploaded 10 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

Road traffic has severe effects on animals, especially when road-kills are involved. In many countries, official road-kill data are provided by hunters or police; there are also road-kill observations reported by citizen scientists. The aim of the current study was to test whether road-kill reports by hunters stem from similar landscapes than those reported by citizen scientists. We analysed the surrounding landscapes of 712 road-kill reportings of European hares in the province of Lower Austria. Our data showed that road-killed hares reported both by hunters and citizens are predominantly surrounded by arable land. No difference of hedges and solitary trees could be found between the two datasets. However, significant differences in landcover classes and surrounding road networks indicate that hunters’ and citizen scientists’ data are different. Hunters reported hares from landscapes with significantly higher percentages of arable land, and greater lengths of secondary roads. In contrast, citizens reported hares from landscapes with significantly higher percentages of urban or industrial areas and greater lengths of motorways, primary roads, and residential roads. From this we argue that hunters tend to report data mainly from their hunting areas, whereas citizens report data during their daily routine on the way to/from work. We conclude that a citizen science approach is an important source for road-kill data when used in addition to official data with the aim of obtaining an overview of road-kill events on a landscape scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen science; wildlife-vehicle collision; road-kill; Lepus europaeus; brown hare; public participation in science; habitat fragmentation citizen science; wildlife-vehicle collision; road-kill; Lepus europaeus; brown hare; public participation in science; habitat fragmentation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Heigl, F.; Stretz, C.R.; Steiner, W.; Suppan, F.; Bauer, T.; Laaha, G.; Zaller, J.G. Comparing Road-Kill Datasets from Hunters and Citizen Scientists in a Landscape Context. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 832.

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