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Wild Aware, a group founded to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions, is taking part in a pilot program for a new app called Roadkill that aims to make reporting accidents involving animals easier and compile data about roadkill.
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Michael Schneider, born and raised in Colorado and now living in the mountains of California, partnered with Daniel Prakash and created the app when he saw a lack of accessibility in reporting roadkill incidents.
Schneider hopes to use his app to promote safe reporting, and hopes the information can be useful to the public and government.
“My dream is that it becomes the standard for reporting, and that it becomes a seamless integration with government entities and private entities,” he said.
With the pilot, the app developers are aiming to gather information about specific areas to help improve practices in place that reduce collisions. Schneider’s goal is to have the data be completely transparent and available for citizens and governmental bodies.
“We can bring the information to the public and then start generating data and awareness of what’s happening in their area,” he said.
When speaking with CDOT and CPW, Schneider was introduced to Christie Greene, Wild Aware founder and board president. When she heard about the app, Greene saw potential for gathering information about the animals in the foothills, especially since there is a feature to report the locations of live animals.
“We’re hoping to take all the input and put it all together to see where they are,” Greene said.
Wild Aware is participating in the pilot program June 1 through the month of August. The main prerogative right now is getting more participants in order to gather useful information for the area.
“We are in a high risk area and we would like people to be more aware and look around more,” Green said.
Janine De Lorenzo has lived in Evergreen for two and a half years. Only recently did she see her first instance of roadkill, and she was left wondering what to do.
“What do we do, who do we call?” she asked herself.
Her partner pointed her towards the Roadkill app, and after some initial bumps De Lorenzo was able to report the elk collision she had seen.
“Not totally user friendly to begin with on first try, but I love the idea,” De Lorenzo said of the app.
Feedback from users in the pilot programs helps the developers work to refine the app.
Wild Aware has instructions for setting up and using the Roadkill app as a part of its participation in the pilot program:
GET SET UP
WHEN YOU SEE AN ANIMAL IN OR NEAR THE ROAD - DEAD OR ALIVE:
In Jefferson County, call *277 for wildlife-vehicle collisions in order for the appropriate authorities to come to the scene. If human injuries are present, call 911. If animals are in the road or in a dangerous location, call *277 for assistance in helping the animals cross safely.
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