Earlier this year, HSS started a citizen science-based roadkill project, where we encouraged members of the public to submit sightings of roadkill involving herpetofauna. Over the last year, our database has grown to over 200 records, with 167 of them from 2021 alone!
Project Runover differs from many other roadkill projects by focusing on more than ‘roads’ and ‘kills’. We welcome data on all manner of wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs), including micromobility devices such as bicycles, e-scooters, skateboards, and electric personal mobility devices. Citizen scientists are also encouraged to report WVCs occurring on Park Connector pathways, cycling tracks, and mountain biking trails.
Our records range from small tree frogs to some of our largest reptiles, including the reticulated python. We have even received reports of non-native species, like the bearded dragon (Pogona sp.) and the ball python (Python regius), abandoned pets from the illegal wildlife trade.
In addition to letting us know where different herpetofauna species can be found, roadkill reports like these can help identify potential roadkill hotspots, dispersal periods, and even breeding patterns of lesser-studied species. Roadkill studies in the past have even helped with the (re)discovery of species.
Moreover, the carcasses can provide insights into any disease or parasite outbreak we may have otherwise not known about. Such studies are essential in maintaining the overall health of our wildlife and preventing any chance of zoonotic diseases affecting the human population.
So, thank you for helping us be our eyes on roads, trails, and PCNs! Keep the records coming, and with luck, we can help decrease the numbers through proper mitigation measures.
But, what should you do if you come across other animals that are victims of WVCs? In addition to reporting to ACRES Wildlife Rescue (9783 7782) and/or NParks Animal Response Centre (1800 476 1600), especially when these animals are still alive, you can also report them to the respective working groups below.
You can submit the record to the Singapore Pangolin Working Group (SPWG) if you come across pangolin roadkills.
OtterWatch would be the place to go if you come across an otter who has been a victim of a roadkill incident.
While not common WVC victims, young birds or opportunistic scavengers can end up near roads and become roadkill. For dead birds, you can contact the NUS Avian Evolution Lab on WhatsApp at 84495023 or on Telegram at @deadbirdhotline.
Remember, it is always helpful to send pictures, a Google pin, and any other information you think would be necessary to the people on the receiving end! And do not handle any carcasses or injured animals with your bare hands. If you do so, remember to sanitise thoroughly after.
Reports like these from members of the public help increase the pool of data from across the island and would help us better understand Singapore’s biodiversity and ecological connectivity.
So, keep your eyes peeled for WVC victims and drive/ride safely.
Happy New Year, everyone!