The National Center for Rural Road Safety (Rural Safety Center) is hosted a FREE, 1.5-hour online webinar.
This webinar featured an overview of the recently completed Phase 3 of a animal-vehicle collision (AVC) data collection system called ROaDS (Roadkill Observation and Data System). ROaDS is supported by the National Center for Rural Road Safety, the Department of Interior’s (DOI’s) US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Park Service (NPS). It was developed in coordination with the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, Bozeman as a user-friendly tool to efficiently and effectively collect information on vehicular crashes with large-bodied wildlife. Equally important, it records information on carcasses of medium- and smaller-sized fauna relevant to the Federal Land Management Agencies’ (FLMAs’) conservation missions. It also documents locations where animals are alive next to, or successfully crossing, roads.
At the conclusion of this webinar, participants were able to:
- Characterize the need for a DOI-wide AVC data collection system.
- Describe the 3 phases of the project.
- Identify how simple it is to use the ROaDS survey on a mobile device and the information that is gathered.
- Demonstrate how the data collected through the ROaDS system can be analyzed and presented in reports.
- Discover ways to get involved in efforts to co-develop national AVC data collection standards.
First, it was directed towards the Rural Safety Centers’ general audience to learn more about the overall project. Second, the webinar focused on providing information to FLMA transportation managers and planners; as well as park, wildlife refuge and other FLMA management unit personnel that regularly address wildlife conservation and/or visitor safety. It seeked to create interest by FLMAs and their partners to use this new tool that is scheduled for DOI-wide implementation in the final phase of the project.
Rob Ament, Road Ecology Program Manager, Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University Bozeman
Rob is the principal investigator for the ROaDS project. At WTI, he leads a group of research ecologists and engineers that provide solutions to reduce the ecological impacts of transport infrastructure on nature.
Matthew Bell, Research Engineer, Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University Bozeman
Matthew has his Master of Science in Transportation Engineering with his Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology. His understanding of wildlife ecology makes him a valuable asset to WTI’s Road Ecology Program. He joined WTI in 2019 as a research engineer and in addition to ROaDS analyzes the feasibility of using new materials such as fiber-reinforced polymer wildlife crossing infrastructure and roadside wool erosion control blankets as well as the performance of Montana bridges to deterioration.