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Federal Lands Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Data Coordination Project – Phase 3

Project #: 4W8126
Start Date: 10/01/2019
End Date: 11/30/2020
Status: Completed

At the end of Phase 3, the Roadkill Observation and Data System (ROaDS) uses a common commercial geo-spatial platform and mobile device application and can be used by the FWS, NPS and other DOI bureaus and agencies once it is moved from the ROaDS research team’s servers to a DOI-wide platform. Upon the completion of Phase 3, ROaDS uses a short survey (electronic data collection form) with 9 different fields of information to be filled out by the observer (e.g., species identification, number of animals observed). It has a short list of 22 species to choose from (but allows the observer to type in other species not on the list). The ROaDS survey includes the capability to take a geospatially synchronized photograph to confirm species identification. The ROaDS survey collects the same observer information for carcasses, live animals crossing the road or live animals adjacent to the road. The data collected is automatically sent to a cloud-based server for storage under the commercial license; then, the ROaDS research team developed post-collection processing that adds 11 data fields derived from the original location data (e.g., state, county, federal management unit). The ROaDS information stored in the database is linked to a webpage that easily displays the locations of the observations on a map of the United States and can be analyzed and viewed using the site’s cluster or “hot spot” analyses. The data can also be exported to other software programs for analyses and reports. In Phase 3, as part of the beta-test, the ROaDS survey was successfully adopted for use by tribal agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), using their own commercial license with the same company and storing data on their own licensed database. So that ROaDS can be shared more broadly on any of a variety of data collection systems, the ROaDS research team, FWS and NPS organized two national workshops with other organizations to co-develop national AVC data collection system standards.


The National Park Service (NPS) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and other Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMAs) lack sufficient information regarding the location, rate, and severity of wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) along roadways within agency management units – such as parks and refuges – and on roads through adjacent public lands. Currently, there is no systematic collection and sharing of this information for what are primarily rural roads. Without these data, it is difficult for FLMAs to adequately analyze WVCs, develop priorities, fun, and implement the most effective mitigation solutions that resolve WVC issues and their adverse effects on both motorist safety and natural resource protection.

This project has begun to develop a WVC data collection system for FWS and NPS with the intention of more widespread use by other DOI departments, other FLMAs, state DOTs, tribes, non-government organizations (NGOs), and potentially citizen scientists who will work in parallel to collect the same or similar WVC information, but on their own data collection and storage platforms. This project seeks to facilitate the standardization of WVC data so NPS, FWS and their stakeholders are able to collect, store, share, and retrieve data as it is needed for their organization.

The WVC Data Collection System for use by the NPS, FWS and their partners will be designed to collect information on large animal – vehicle crashes, which are the focus of the safety requirements for FLMA roads, as well as carcass information of medium-sized and smaller taxa, which are the focus of the FLMAs’ conservation mission:

  • Phase 1 developed a data collection survey based on a commercial smart phone/tablet application. The survey collected roadside wildlife mortality observations, related information, and included a geo-synched photograph capability. It was named Roadkill Observation and Data System (ROaDS), and beta tests were conducted.
  • In Phase 2, the research team developed recommendations to improve the Department of Interior’s (DOI) data standards and to enhance the data survey used by the ROADS system.


Phase 3 will consist of a number of tasks, including:

  • leading workshops to convene experts to develop a common national standard for WVC data collection
  • updating and beta-testing a simpler, streamlined version of the ROADS survey
  • coordinating ROaDS data collection with NGOs, states and tribes to determine if they can work in parallel with NPS, FWS, and other DOI agencies and bureaus to collectively identify hazardous WVC areas across jurisdictions
  • identifying and evaluating software platforms for long-term implementation and use of ROADS by DOI agencies

This multi-phase project seeks to facilitate the standardization of wildlife-vehicle collision (WVC) data so the National Park Service (NPS), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and their stakeholders are able to collect, store, share, and retrieve data as it is needed for their organization. This phase seeks to continue development of a WVC Data Collection System.