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Selected Publication:

Dorler, D; Heigl, F.
(2021): A decrease in reports on road-killed animals based on citizen science during COVID-19 lockdown
PEERJ. 2021; 9, e12464 FullText FullText_BOKU

Background: To avoid the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in early 2020, many countries have implemented strict lockdown measures for several weeks. In Austria, the lockdown in early spring has led to a significant drop in human outdoor activities, especially in road traffic. In Project Roadkill, a citizen science project which aims to collect data on road-killed animals, we observed a significant decrease in reported roadkills. Methods: By asking the citizen scientists through a survey how their travelling routines were affected, we investigated if the observed decrease in roadkills was grounded in less animals being killed by traffic, or in citizen scientists staying at home and thus reporting less road-killed animals. Results: A majority of the respondents stated that they felt to have reported less roadkills during the lockdown, regardless if they changed their travelling routine or not. This observation in combination with the overall decrease in road traffic indicates that fewer animals were killed during the lockdown. We conclude that when analyzing citizen science data, the effects of lockdown measures on reporting behaviour should be considered, because they can significantly affect data and interpretation of these data.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Dörler Daniel
Heigl Florian

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Road ecology
Citizen science
Travel behavior

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