Roads To Nowhere – Roadkills – A Citizen Science Initiative

04 April 2018

Sanctuary Asia

Rizwan Mithawala elucidates on an effort to engage concerned citizens through a mobile-based application developed by the Wildlife Conservation Trust to collect data on mortality of wild animals on roads, railway lines and irrigation canals across the country.

“But in the modern world there is no time,” wrote Rachel Carson in her seminal book Silent Spring. She wrote of time as the essential element that allows life to adapt to change and reach equilibrium. While her book speaks of the hazards of chemical fertilisers, her lament holds true for the current onslaught launched on India’s wildlife by its rapidly-advancing road network. At a construction pace of 22 km. a day, and thousands of kilometres cutting through designated Protected Areas (PAs), the country’s highways are giving its wildlife neither chance nor choice.

Apart from the 24,000 km. of roads that pass through PAs, over 1,200 passenger and freight trains run on railway lines that slither across these prime wildlife habitats, imperiling India’s endangered wildlife indiscriminately. Figure this — roads and railways have snuffed out 16 tigers in the last five years; over 150 elephants have been killed by speeding trains in the last eight years. In a short span of 63 days between December 2017 and February 2018, trains have killed 10 elephants in the state of Assam alone!

Read the full article here

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