Taiwan Roadkill Network promotes public participation to expand data collection

Over five million animals die each year as roadkill around Taiwan

Taiwan's "No-Kill Policy" has led to a growing number of strays. (Photo: Pixabay)

Taiwan's "No-Kill Policy" has led to a growing number of strays. (Photo: Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A survey administered by the Taiwan Roadkill Observation Network over a five-year period revealed that around five million animals become roadkill each year, reported UDN.

There are around 987,000 roads in Taiwan and around 550 different species involved in roadside incidents. Over the last six years, 54 leopard cats, 257 palm civets, and thousands of cats, dogs, and reptiles died after colliding with motor vehicles.


(Image from Taiwan Roadkill Observation Network website)

The research was carried out from 2012 to 2017. The Network systematically divided Taiwan into 300 sample “areas,” collecting roadkill samples and observing stray animals spotted along the roads. The samples were collected year-round, at varying times of day, via car, scooter, and walking to provide the greatest possible scope of data, said the Network’s website.


(Image from Taiwan Roadkill Observation Network website)

The Network encourages passersby who witness roadkill or strays to make a note, snap a picture, gather the roadkill carcass, and submit the info to their research at the Endemic Species Research Institute. The Network is promoting participation as a "citizen science" program, and more samples from the public will also further diversify the data of the study.


(Image from Taiwan Roadkill Observation Network website)

The Environment and Animal Society Taiwan (EAST) Deputy Chief Executive, Chen Yu-min (陳玉敏), said that after instating a “No-Kill Policy” for shelter animals last year, shelters have reached capacity and the “Accurate Capture Policy” was put in place. This immediately increased the number of stray animals, said UDN.


(Image from Taiwan Roadkill Observation Network website)

Shelters do their best to vaccinate and spay strays though their rate of reproduction continues to increase, which is complicating traffic issues.