DWR News Release
A year after launching the Utah Roadkill Reporter app, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah Department of Transportation have learned some important things about wildlife migration from the submitted data.
The Utah Roadkill Reporter app was released in December 2022 to allow people to easily report the location and description of any dead animals they see on or near roads so those animals can be removed more quickly from highways and freeways. The data also provides important wildlife migration information for biologists.
“This app is helping us keep Utah roads safe by helping us more quickly remove carcasses that can cause traffic hazards,” UDOT’s Natural Resource Manager Matt Howard said. “In addition, the data collected from the app will help us determine where to potentially place wildlife fencing and crossings, protecting people and wildlife.”
During the first year of the app’s release, a total of 3,843 animals were reported through it. Roughly 98% of the reported animals killed by vehicles were mule deer — a total of 3,611 deer. However, it’s estimated that only about half of deer-vehicle collisions are reported, and DWR biologists estimate that around 10,000 deer are actually hit and killed by vehicles in Utah annually.
Some of the other wildlife species hit and killed by vehicles in Utah over the past year that were reported through the app include:
- American badger: 1
- Bighorn sheep: 2
- Black bear: 2
- Black-billed magpie: 1
- Bobcat: 1
- Canyon treefrog: 1
- Cougar: 8
- Coyote: 5
- Elk: 157
- Northern raccoon: 17
- Porcupine: 1
- Pronghorn: 22
- Red fox: 3
- Snowshoe hare: 1
- Turkey: 3
“Through this data, we are learning about new locations where animals are being hit by vehicles,” DWR Utah Wildlife Migration Initiative Coordinator Blair Stringham said. “We are also collecting information about species that we haven’t had before, particularly for small animals like badgers. We are using this data to identify wildlife-vehicle collision hotspots on the roadways. As we collect more data, we will know more about when and where animals are crossing roads, so we can implement projects based on needs in those areas. Things like wildlife fencing, underpasses, overpasses and signs will result from this important data.”
When someone submits a roadkill report through the app, along with including the species of animal and a GPS location, they may also upload a photo of the animal. However, you should not use the app while driving or get out of your vehicle along a busy highway.
The new Utah Roadkill Reporter app is available for free in both the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store. You can learn more about the app here.