roadkill

Quick clicks for faster roadkill and salvage reporting

In response to some of your suggestions, we're pleased to introduce a new feature for simpler reporting for roadkill or salvaging roadkill. Now, when you browse to http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/roadkill, you'll find images of some of the most commonly reported animals killed on Idaho's roads.

roadkill improvements

Simply click on the image of the appropriate animal to save some typing for these commonly entered animals. If you do not see the animal you're reporting, please continue to type in the animal in the textbox at Option 2. You'll find all of Idaho's most common animals available in that drop down will be filtered as you type. Simply use the arrow keys to select the option, or click with your mouse.

drop-down image

We hope that this change helps with the overall usability of the form. If you have further suggestions or comments, please let us know!

 

An update for Roadkill data

 

Some of you might wonder what that spike is all about on the "roadkill dashboard."

It's what happens when we execute a batch import of roadkill data from the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). The ITD has implemented a system where they log the carcass pickups that their crews perform. I'd like to take a moment to thank them, and our Idaho Fish and Game employees who also do this deed, as by no means is roadkill cleanup an easy job!

Graph of recent data spike

Back to that data spike. In addition to the continual stream of motivated roadkill entry-folks into our Roadkill or Salvage online reporting system, several times a year we request  data from ITD's carcass inventory system. They provide us an Excel table with the appropriate fields, and we automagically upload it using a batch-import-process.

These partnerships give IDFG the capacity to house all the recorded road-kill data from each vested sector: ITD, IDFG, and various public groups. We at IFWIS also have other data partnerships using the same Observations Core database as Roadkill. While the other information is not nearly as public as a bloated deer on the side-of-the-road, the data are very meaningful for use in conservation and management of Idaho's wildlife diversity.

This data-import mechanism is extremely important because it's the first step we have for importing large datasets from critical special-status species into our Observations Core database. This database houses the Roadkill data as well as other species of special interest. 

Thanks to technology advances, but more importantly, a strong will to work together, our IFWIS team is working with our partners to bridge data gaps. Projects like the Multi-Species Baseline Initiative (MBI) highlight the importance and power behind bringing source observational data to a centralized location.

Back to roadkill. This last spike of roadkill records included some 3,300 records. Not all of those were from this year. Some records were entered from a backlog, as most carcass removals are jotted down on paper before being put into the computer.

You also may notice that not all of the roadkill data have a species defined, either. Sometimes, it's because the smear on the road is undefinable. Other times, it's because an animal isn't available on the "pick list" on their entry form. Items like the latter are being corrected as we find them through a joint effort of ITD and IDFG.

This last update brought the total record count of Idaho roadkill data to 20,392 records. In my opinion, the magnificent thing to mention about this spike, is that it represents a point where data is coming in faster than ever before. Since January 1, 2012, we've imported 5,929 records. Granted, only 1,714 were killed on the highways since that date. Having this information available, at a statewide level, will allow IDFG and ITD staff to make informed decisions about highway safety, for you, and the animals.

You can help us with our quest by signing up and reporting the roadkill (or any animal) you see, as well. Just take a few moments to fill-out the short form for Roadkill or general Wildlife Observations

Your contributions do help!

Observations and Roadkill Posters

For anyone interested in helping promote the use of these systems, here are graphics we've started with for Observations and Roadkill online reporting forms.

Observations Roadkill

 

We'd appreciate it if you are using these as web images, that they would link directly to either Observations (https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/observations) or Roadkill (https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/roadkill)

 

Air Conditioner Failure - Servers Down Oct. 3, 2011 6:40AM - 11:20AM MST (-0600 GMT)

Air conditioners in Idaho Fish and Game's Server Room failed late Sunday resulting in shutdown of the Fish and Game servers and network at 6:40AM on Monday October 3.

The network and all servers are now back online.  If you experience any issues with our applications please let us know.

We apologize for the outage and any inconvenience this may have caused. 

Funding is short. If you've come to rely on our services and would like to contribute towards a redundant system/cloud hosting to avoid outages like this in the future we're all ears.

Taxonomy Search upgrade for Observations, Roadkill

You may notice the species selection has changed a little for animals in Observations and Roadkill forms. The usage method is still the same, but we've updated the species search to improve speed and add search options. Hopefully it will help you find the wildlife you're searching for, faster and easier.

The new selection looks like this:

**Note, when you select a species, the validation mentioning that "We need to know what you saw. Please search the species' list, then click on the appropriate match from the drop-down box." will disappear. :)

 

As always, please let us know if you have any questions, problems, or comments.

 

Ben

 

Highway 21 Wildlife Underpass is Working (with Photos)

As the scenic State Highway 21 snakes its way across the Boise Mountains, it also intersects another favorite travel route.

For millennia, mule deer and elk have traveled to and from low elevation ranges where they spend the winter, to mountain meadows where they grow fat each summer feasting on the rich vegetation found at higher elevations. In doing so, they must cross State Highway 21.

In recent years, from 75 to 200 or more mule deer and elk, crossing the highway between Boise and Robie Creek, have been killed by vehicles each year.

So far this spring, only one animal has died in the stretch with a recently completed wildlife underpass.

The underpass was completed in October on Highway 21 near milepost 18.2, at the site of a well-documented big game migration "funnel" and subsequent collision "hotspot." A bridge replaced the fill that had supported the road, opening this migratory corridor to deer and elk. By physically separating wildlife and motorists, the underpass now provides protection for both.

The second phase of this project involves building a wildlife fence on the east side of the road to direct deer and elk away from the highway and towards the underpass.

Federal stimulus money was used to build the bridge and part of the fence. But additional funding is still needed to complete the fencing project.

A group of local people working together to find ways to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions on our roads and highways worked with the Idaho Transportation Department to get the underpass built. The group's focus now is raising the money to complete the wildlife exclusion fencing to make the underpass even more effective than it has already been shown to be.

Dubbed the Boise River Wildlife Linkage Partnership, the group includes private citizens, business people, non-profits and city, county, state and federal representatives.

Underpass Photos (click for full-size):

Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo

Story cross-posted from IDFG Press Release, Highway 21 Wildlife Underpass is Working
Photos courtesy of Idaho Transportation Department

Update Photo Metadata when Observation submitted

When the metadata for an image has no lat/lng or datetime due to image recreation does not match the submitted observation update the photo.  Problemmatic if multiple photos.  May cause more problems than it solves, but would be nice when finished.

ET2F: Hours - Days

Exporting, Downloading and Linking to Roadkill Reports

The Export Roadkill Data feature allows you to download or live link to roadkill reports in a variety of format and subsets.

By default, the page will show the 50 most recent roadkill reports statewide.  You can paginate through the reports by using the next, previous, and last links at the top and bottom of the table.  Click details at the start of any individual row to see all the information publicly available (contact details are omitted from public views), a map, and associated files and photos if they have been approved for web publication.

HTML is not the format you are looking for?

You'll notice that there are four icons immediately above the table.  These formats allow you to break the information you are viewing out of the webpage.

CSVCSV - Opens in Microsoft Excel and other Spreadsheet software.  It also easily imports into various databases

KMLKML - Opens in Google Earth, ArcGIS and imports into many GPS Units.  You may download this file for remote viewing, or link to it live to see new roadkills on a map as they are entered.

JSONJSON - Is a format that allows script remote computers to link live to data streams on detached computers.  This format enables robust web "mashups" of roadkill reports.

RSSRSS - Is a syndication format which allows you to keep track of the most recent updates.  You may consume RSS through a news reader, Microsoft Outlook or use third-party services like Feedburner (to get receive daily email digests) or Google Feeds (to embed recent roadkill on your blog or webpage)

 

Are you only interested in part of this?

Use the filter features to subset the dataset by species, observation date, highway, milepost range, report date.  You may also change how many records are retrieved.  At this time, 1000 records is the maximum download, but we'll be working on caching features soon to enable complete downloads.  All filters are optional.  All formats are available.

Slice, dice, download, embed and link to your heart's content.

Roadkill is our first public demonstration of the new IFWIS Core API that will soon be powering more of our IFWIS Applications. 

We want to make data, open, accessible and easy to use.  Please let us know what works, what doesn't and how we can make this better.

GeoTagged Photos Simplify Roadkill Reporting

We've tried to make reporting roadkill as simple as possible, but even still, it took five steps to outline in our post How to Report Roadkill.  Until now.

When 5 Steps is Two Steps Too Many.

Reporting Roadkills with your Photos.

We've just finished a new feature in our Roadkill Reporting, Photo Upload.  The best part isn't even all the pretty pictures of schmeared and desiccated wildlife that met an unfortunate fate attempting to cross our roadways. 

The best part is that if you have a camera phone or GPS-enabled device your photos will automatically record the location and datetime of the observation. 

Combine this with your contact information auto-filling when your logged in and you're down to  entering the Observed Species and pressing Save.  Yes, it's that easy.

Roadkill GeoTagged Photo Report in 3 Steps

To get started visit https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/roadkill

1.) Upload Your File

In the right-hand sidebar click Upload File and select the photo to upload.

In modern web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or IE9+) you may drag and drop your photos to upload.
Drag and Drop your Photo

After the photo has uploaded you will see a summary of the information extracted from the image.  This may include both the date and location.

If you are already logged in and you are the observer, you may now skip ahead to species details.

2.) What

Enter the Observed Species Details
Start typing a scientific or common name and select from the dropdown list.  For the selected species answer the short list of questions as best as you are able.

Here is an example for the observed elk we uploaded in Step 1.

The location section will already be completed from your photo, so you may enter a precision (likely with 10 meters if using GPS) and you are done!

3.) Press Save Wildlife Collision to submit your Roadkill Observation.

 

We were able to skip a quite a few steps using our geotagged photo.  For complete instructions detailing every question on the form, view our post How to Report Roadkill.

How to Report Roadkill

Would you like to share roadkills you witness?  It's quick and easy and helps Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) and the Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD) work to avoid future wildlife collisions.

Reporting Roadkill is Quick and Easy

How to Submit a Wildlife Collision in 5 Steps...

To get started visit https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/roadkill

1.) Who

Enter a few details about yourself, the Observer.
Don't worry we won't share this, but we do need to contact you if we have questions.

We admit that entering all this information is quite a pain if you'll be reporting often.  That's why we encourage you to create an account.

Once you have created an account your contact information will auto-fill.  You'll also be able report for friends and family members with a single click.  In fact, all your commonly used settings will be stored in quick-access shortcuts.
 

2.) When

Enter the date of the observation and an accuracy
You may type a date, or pick a date from the calendar.  Choose from the list an accuracy for the selected date.

Optionally, you may enter any more details you may have about the time of the observation (e.g. "Observed at Time Zone Rapid in Riggins and I'm not sure if this observation was at 2:05PM or 3:05PM").

3.) What

Identify the species
Start typing a common name (e.g. Moose) or scientific name (e.g. Alces americanus) and pick a species from the dropdown list that appears.

Add some Detail
How many? How old? What gender? Was it still alive? Other details?

4.) Where

Provide a location of the roadkill
Use one of four options to provide a location:

  • Click on the map  (You can pan, zoom and click again to move the marker)
  • Pick a Highway and Mile Marker  (US 93, Milepost 486)
  • Type an Address or Intersection  (600 S. Walnut St. Boise)
  • Provide an X & Y Coordinate   (43.5,-114.72 or 43 30,114 43.2 or N43 30,W114 43 12)

Add a Confidence Level for your location and optionally any Additional Location Information and you're done!

5.) Click Save Wildlife Collision to submit your observation!

The full details of your observation will appear upon submission.

You may review and download your previous submissions in the sidebar.  For larger exports in a variety of formats from csv to xml use the Export Roadkill Data tool.