What is known as 'roadkill'?
Roadkill is an animal or animals that have been struck and killed by motor vehicles on highways. Wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) have increasingly been the topic of academic research to understand the causes, and how it can be mitigated.
Roadkill is associated with increasing automobile speed in the early century. A contemporary naturalist J. Grinnell, noted in 1920 that "Roadkill is a relatively new source of fatality.",
In Europe and North America, deer are the animal most likely to cause vehicle damage. In Australia, specific actions taken to protect against the variety of animals that can damage vehicles, indicate the Australian experience has some unique features with roadkill.
The development of roads affects wildlife by altering and isolating habitat and populations, deterring the movement of wildlife, and resulting in extensive wildlife mortality.
One writer states that "our insulated industrialized culture keeps us disconnected from life beyond our windshields."Driving "mindlessly" without paying attention to the movements of others in the vehicle's path, driving at speeds that do not allow stopping, and distractions contribute to the death toll.
Very large numbers of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates are killed on the world's roads every day. The number of animals killed in the United States has been estimated at a million per day. About 350,000 to 27 million birds are estimated to be killed on European roads each year