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Researchers Creating Handy/Sad Guide to California Roadkill

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For the environmentalist or the budding sociopath, the New York Times introduces us to the California Roadkill Observation System, a website that collects citizen data on dead animals found on roads across the state. Roadkill enthusiasts scour the roads and upload GPS coordinates, animal information, and, kind of perversely, photographs to the site. The UC Davis researchers who created CROS "intend to use the data to build statistical and Geographic Information Systems models to predict roadkill hot spots and to determine where animal road crossings, culverts and warning signs may be most effective on current and future roadways." So far about 300 people have reported "more than 6,900 documented kills" in California, and raccoons are the most frequently-found victims, but the map shows cats, deer, black bears, and a wide array of reptiles. One roadkill-addled fellow once thought he saw a Land Shark on I-80, but everyone knows those aren't endemic to California (it was a stuffed animal).
· Mapping Traffic’s Toll on Wildlife [NYT]