Roadkill accounting


Citizen scientists monitoring roadkill on Bruny roads over the past 7 months met with researcher Bruce Englefield, presenting the evidence of real hotspots where high rates of vehicle collisions resulted in many deaths.

Roadkill reported over seven months, with most death occurring late summer, when feed is scarce. Reports in the sea are geographic errors – not dolphins!

With kill rates centred in south Bruny, it looks as though the more you look, the more you find.

Bruce outlined the next phase of his roadkill research project, seeing three years of monitoring to work out whether virtual fencing could stem the carnage.

Presently, the virtual fence – a series of electronic devices placed along sections of road activated by headlights of approaching vehicles  – emits flashing lights and single frequency beeps that require better adaptation to the ‘alarm response’ of the local critters, thus one line of the investigation is for more closely tailored options.

Avoiding animals on the road is pretty easy but rumour has it that some drivers actively target animals and get some form of gratification if they hit one.

Volunteers involved in this aspect of the Bruny Environmental accounts simply photograph and upload roadkill found to the Roadkill App. with the science being done in the background.  Carcasses are taken off the road to reduce secondary kill and pouches checked for infants.

Some vollies have reported difficultly in focusing on the maimed animals and are fervently hoping that people will take more care of animals on the road, respecting other life.

Extending over three years, adaptations to the monitoring system and to the virtual fencing are expected to give better results.

If you are interested in participating, simply download the Roadkill App, and send in reports.  Don’t forget to take the carcass off the road!  Contact bruce.englefield@westnet.com.au for further information.  

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One response to “Roadkill accounting”

  1. I used to throw my apple cores out of the window thinking an animal would enjoy them until someone pointed out that as the driver it would land in the middle of the road. Even throwing food on the side of the road is encouraging animals to the road. It’s an educational point never mentioned as far as I’m aware although I believe Victoria will fine people for anything thrown from a car. About time the rest of Australia followed SA’s lead in money for cans too.

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