_Davis researcher Fraser Shilling, is using the online reporting system to chronicle animal road deaths in hopes of helping transportation planners design more wildlife-friendly roads. "Thousands of animals are killed on California's roads every day, including endangered species," Shilling said in a UC, Davis press statement. "This is a threat to the state's natural legacy and, for some species, their very existence." His site has received reports of 6,700 road kills in its first year, involving 205 animal species. Of those, 824 were raccoons. Striped skunks and California Ground Squirrels followed on the most-hit list, trailed by opossum and deer. Shilling's website for reporting road kill is at: www.wildlifecrossing.net/California.
It's interesting that three of the top five species are not only furbearers, but notorious gamebird nest predators. Populations of raccoons, skunks and opposums have exploded in recent decades not only because they thrive in the sort of patchwork semi-suburban areas so much of our countryside has been converted to, but also because virtually no one traps them any more. Show me an area with marginal nesting habitat and a high number of coons, skunks and possums and I'll show you an area with very few gamebirds.