The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah Department of Transportation are working to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by building wildlife crossing structures on roads across Utah. But because these collisions unfortunately still occur from time to time, the agencies are making it easier for people to provide information about dead animals on Utah roads through the release of a new app: the Utah Roadkill Reporter. The new Utah Roadkill Reporter app is available for free in both the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store. The app will allow people to easily report the location and description of any dead animals they see on or near roads, so those animals can be removed more quickly from highways and freeways by DWR and UDOT employees who have access to the data. Dead animals left on roads can become traffic hazards and can cause additional incidents. The Utah Roadkill Reporter app uses GPS tracking technology to collect high-accuracy data on animal carcasses involved in vehicle collisions. The app collects data on reported animal carcasses, animal carcasses that have been picked up and pick up routes being completed by contractors. When someone submits a roadkill report through the app, along with including the species of animal and a GPS location, they may also upload a photo of the animal. UDOT and DWR encourage the public to never use the app while driving, and suggest not getting out of your vehicle when submitting a report, due to safety concerns along busy roads. If a passenger is unable to submit a report, upload the report later using a milemarker near where the animal was spotted. The state agencies also urge the public not to pick up roadkill — trained crews will do that once they receive the report. Along with providing information about potential areas for wildlife crossings, the data collected through the app will also benefit the Utah Wildlife Mitigation Initiative and its efforts to learn more about the annual migration patterns of different animal species in Utah. The Utah Wildlife Migration Initiative is a program that tracks and studies the migration patterns of different wildlife and fish species in the state. Most of the data comes from animals wearing GPS tracking devices or from fish tagged with implanted transmitters. The tracking data benefits wildlife because biologists can identify where the animals spend large portions of time and then make habitat improvements in those areas.

Deer and Elk Most Common

Courtesy Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Courtesy Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Deer and elk account for the majority of wildlife-vehicle collisions. This year to date, there have been 4,900 reported deer collisions, 166 reported collisions with elk and 20 reported collisions with moose.

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