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West Sussex hits top spot for roadkill claim scientists
West Sussex is the roadkill capital of the UK, scientists have claimed.
More animals are squashed on the county’s roads than any other, according to experts at Cardiff University.
In a study called the Splatter Report, West Sussex was responsible for nearly a sixth of all recorded animal deaths-by-vehicle earlier this year.
Badgers were by far the most run-over species, with squashed foxes and pigeons next on the grim list.
The project’s initial findings were collected between February and June from members of the public, who reported roadside carcasses through Twitter and Facebook.
But while it was bad news for badgers, the surge in splattered wildlife has been a bonanza for one not-so-squeamish shopkeeper.
Jess Eaton, who makes clothes from run-over animals at her Eaton Nott boutique in Brighton, said her “freezers were full” of crushed critters scraped from Sussex roads.
She said: “We do see a lot of roadkill coming into the shop – foxes, badgers, deer and all sorts of things.
“We get a lot of people phoning in when they find something fresh on the side of the road, and we go and pick it up.
“There’s certainly no shortage of roadkill in Sussex. Once you start looking for dead stuff, you see it everywhere.”
In the report, 23% of dead animals reported were foxes, far higher than the national average of just 12%.
One ambulance driver even reported hitting a night-flying bat at high speed while on an emergency call out.
Jess Price, conservation officer at Sussex Wildlife Trust, agreed there were “high levels” of roadkill sightings in Sussex.
She said: “By sending in records of road kill, people can help to identify where they may be hotspots or issues with particular species. This information can then be used by local councils to implement mechanisms to reduce wildlife deaths.”
However Dr Sarah Perkins, the Splatter Report project leader, said West Sussex drivers should “not be hard on themselves”.
She said: “Part of the reason the figures are so high in that county is that we have some very good data recorders there.
“But we would like to see local authorities in West Sussex taking steps to warn people to slow down, especially when driving at night.”
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