Outdoor Radio: Taking Pictures of Roadkill Can Help Protect Wildlife

Bridget and Sara examine an Eastern Garter Snake that didn’t make it to the other side. This is actually the first record for this species for the town according to the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas!

There’s a story behind roadkill and people like you can help tell it. Thousands of accidents every year are caused by collisions with wildlife. How can we manage roadways so that they are safer for everyone, vehicles and animals?

This month, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra are looking for roadkill in the Cold Hollow Mountains in Belvidere, Vermont, with Bridget Butler, Program Director of Cold Hollow to Canada.

The Cold Hollow Mountains host one of the most intact broadleaf, temperate forest in the region– a travel corridor for many species of wildlife. But the forest can be fragmented by roadways creating a safety concern for both wildlife and people.

The nonprofit Cold Hollow to Canada’s vision is for a healthy and intact forested landscape that supports a strong and sustainable local economy through stewardship, with protection of core wildlife habitat and connectivity across the entire Northern Forest. They have created a project through iNaturalist that allows users to upload pictures and locations from their smartphone of roadkill sightings. Anyone can help gather this data which can then be used to track wildlife movement patterns and better manage roadway crossings.

Listen to the show

Learn more

(sad) Images from the Show

(click on the images to see the observation reported to the WildPaths project on iNaturalist)

Map of potential wildlife crossing areas in the Cold Hollow region. Click on the map to visit Cold Hollow to Canada and learn more.

This Wood Frog likely attempted a cross during rains yesterday and last night. Click on the image to see the observation reported to WildPaths project on iNaturalist.

Roadkill photos, like this one of a Red-bellied Snake, can be posted to iNaturalist to help discover the “pinch points” where wildlife crosses our roadways. Click on the image to see this observation out on the WildPaths iNaturalist project.

Here’s a small Eastern Garter Snake we found that didn’t make it across the road. This is actually the first record for this species for the town according to the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas! You can see the observation on the WildPaths project on iNaturalist by clicking the image.

Outdoor Radio is produced in collaboration with Vermont Public Radio.

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