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Miistakis Institute for the Rockies Inc.

Road Watch BC: Involving people in getting animals safely across the road.

Our program will integrate science, technology and innovation to address biodiversity loss associated with roads through the establishment of a citizen science program. Road Watch BC will enable the driving public to generate a large and spatially precise dataset of wildlife observations associated with Highway 3, using a smartphone application that allows passengers to immediately upload wildlife sightings and collisions to our on-line database.This information can then be shared with government agencies, scientists, civil society organizations, communities and local governments and to inform mitigation solutions, promote local awareness of crossing locations and change driving behavior. This program will influence systemic change by altering the flow of resources and how people behave. A citizen science approach improves the fluidity of knowledge and democratizes science by enabling the public to participate in information collection, analysis and sharing. Citizen science programming fosters dialogue within a community and builds engagement around a challenge, ultimately improving the diversity of stakeholders engaged in developing solutions. In addition, we expect to see behavior change whereby participants will know where wildlife are most common along the highway enabling modification of driving behavior. We also expect participants to have a general heightened awareness of the risk of wildlife-vehicle collisions, and to adjust their behavior accordingly.