What is the Maine Audubon Wildlife Road Watch?

Maine Audubon Wildlife Road Watch (MAWRW) was created in 2010 to collect information about how, when and where wildlife cross roads, either successfully (live crossings) or unsuccessfully (roadkill). The project is a joint effort of Maine Audubon, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Maine Department of Transportation, and the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis in California.

What is the system designed to do?

This web system can record observations from reporters out in the field who come across identifiable road-side and road-killed wildlife. This includes what animal type and/or species is found, where the animal was located, when it was found, pictures of the animal, how long it might have been dead, and any additional details about road or traffic conditions. The system then displays a summary of this information for different animal groups across the state.

Why do we want this information?

Information about where wildlife attempt to cross roads, what animals are involved, on what kinds of roads are collisions frequent, and other data can help inform policy, management, and financial investment in reducing road-kill and habitat fragmentation. We will use the data to improve our collective understanding of where wildlife attempt to cross roads and what we can do to reduce road-kill and increase safety for people and wildlife.

Who will use the information?

Maine Audubon, state agencies, and researchers will use the information to understand the ecological, wildlife behavior, and transportation contributions to this problem. This includes GIS and statistical modeling to predict wildlife crossing and road-kill hotspots, to measure the contributing factors to road-kill, to quantify impacts, and to estimate benefits of different remedial actions.