How spotting roadkill on Lancashire's roads could help find out how the county's wildlife is faring
Lancashire folk heading off on holiday are being asked to take note of the animals they see on the roads – including the dead ones.
Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling on volunteers to record sightings of mammals, dead or alive, as part in its annual Mammals on Roads survey.
PTES is asking families going on summer holidays or day trips, car-sharing commuters and anyone else using Lancashire’s roads, to record sightings of mammals and submit the records via the free Mammals on Roads app. The data collected helps conservationists to see changing population trends and most importantly, identify where conservation action is needed most and for which species.
David Wembridge, Mammal Surveys Coordinator, said: “Mammals on Roads began over 18 years ago, and though no-one likes seeing roadkill, recording such sightings every year tells us how wild mammals are faring in the surrounding landscape. For example, thanks to the many volunteers who’ve submitted records over the last two decades we found out that hedgehog numbers are plummeting. Now, we’re doing everything we can to help this species, but we wouldn’t have known they were in trouble without volunteers helping us.”
The wild mammals you’re more likely to spot from your vehicle include hedgehogs, badgers, rabbits, foxes and deer, but there are dozens of other mammals in Lancashire, so keep your eyes peeled for some lesser seen wild neighbours too, such as stoats and otters.
To further help mammals, last month the Department for Transport announced the launch of a new mammal road sign, featuring a hedgehog, which will soon be on the side of Britain’s roads. The new sign will remind road users to keep an eye out for small wild mammals, in order to lessen the number of collisions involving animals each year. The data collected via PTES’ Mammals on Roads survey will help inform where these new road signs should be placed, in areas where collisions with animals are highest.
David said: “Taking part in Mammals on Roads can really make a huge difference and helps ongoing conservation efforts by building a countrywide picture of how mammal numbers are changing. Helping mammals couldn’t be easier, so we hope our regular recorders and lots of new ones will take part this year.”
To take part, download the free Mammals on Roads app, for Android and iOS, and you can also see and post updates on social media using #MammalsOnRoads