The Science of Roadkill


From MinuteEarth.

Surprisingly, flattened fauna can teach us a lot about wildlife biology.

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To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
Roadkill: The remains of animals killed by motor vehicles.
Road ecology: The study of how roads impact the surrounding environment and its inhabitants.
Invasive species: Non-native animals that outcompete local animals for resources.
Fieldwork: The collection of data outside of a laboratory setting.
Confounder: A variable (like animal reaction to oncoming cars) that influences the outcome when comparing a dependent variable (like number of animals) to the outcome (number of roadkill carcasses of said animal).

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David Goldenberg | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
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David Goldenberg • Julián Gustavo Gómez
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Jacobson, S. L., L. L. Bliss-Ketchum, C. E. de Rivera, and W. P. Smith. (2016) A behavior-based framework for assessing barrier effects to wildlife from vehicle traffic volume. Ecosphere, 7(4). Retrieved from:

Capula, M., Rugiero, L., Capizzi, D., and Milana, G. (2014). Long-term, climate change-related shifts in monthly patterns of roadkilled Mediterranean snakes (Hierophis viridifavus).
Herpetological Journal, 24: 97-102. Retrieved from:

Yeager, A. (2017). After Disaster Strikes, Often Science Benefits. Washington Post. Retrieved from:

Thomas, E. and Wilson, E. (2018). Guidance for surveying hedgehogs. Hedgehog Street. Retrieved from:

Schwartz, A., Shilling, F., and Perkins, S. (2020). The value of monitoring wildlife roadkill. European Journal of Wildlife Research. 66:18. Retrieved from:

Shilling, F. Personal Communication (2020). Co-Director, Road Ecology Center at University of California, Davis.

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