Roads represent a major source of mortality for many species. To mitigate road mortality, it is essential to know where collisions with vehicles are happening and which species and populations are most affected. For this, moving platforms such as mobile mapping systems (MMS) can be used to automatically detect road-killed animals on the road surface. We recently developed an MMS to detect road-killed amphibians, composed of a scanning system on a trailer. We present here a smaller and improved version of this system (MMS2) for detecting road-killed amphibians and small birds. It is composed of a stereo multi-spectral and high definition camera (ZED), a high-power processing laptop, a global positioning system (GPS) device, a support device, and a lighter charger. The MMS2 can be easily attached to any vehicle and the surveys can be performed by any person with or without sampling skills. To evaluate the system’s effectiveness, we performed several controlled and real surveys in the Évora district (Portugal). In real surveys, the system detected approximately 78% of the amphibians and birds present on surveyed roads (overlooking 22%) and generated approximately 17% of false positives. Our system can improve the implementation of conservation measures, saving time for researchers and transportation planning professionals.
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