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Doing something to stop roadkill

'It may be tempting to believe our 4WD has bumped over a wombat.' (from an article in a magazine)

Tempting?

Roadkill is driving some species towards extinction. Too few safe corridors for animals to find more food. Too many cars and trucks on many more roads through their habitats.

How about a campaign to stop carelessness about road-kill? This could encompass:

1. More careful night-driving. through countrysides and slower diving through bushland could prevent so many deaths and so many orphaned creatures that other people may then try to save, or don't.

2. Invention. Can a form of warning that is effective in warning for animals up to four minutes ahead of the coming killing-machine be invented for use by cars and trucks in places and at times that creatures are liable to be hit. Headlights can simply paralyse them in the middle of the road.

3. Safe crossing tunnels and overheads which are used in some countries. These should be build in places where many small animals get run over.

4. A British man eats road-kill as his way of preventing waste.

5. Raise awareness. It would be interesting to know how many drivers know they have driven over animals. The Royal Australian Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) could ask its members. Let's have some idea of the grim tally.

What are people feeling is their own greatest collective guilt? There's a lot of it around. Trillions are spent on weapons of horrible destruction – even by the 'goodies?

Universal Guilt Day – making a real Day of Atonement - followed by ? Could we have a Peace and Saving Museum?

See also:

1. "Tassie's roadkill carnage" by Michelle Paine in teh Hobart Mercury of 21 Nov 08.

NEARLY 300,000 animals are killed on Tasmanian roads every year. Among them, 4000 Tasmanian devils -- about 5 per cent of a population already being dying from an infectious cancer.

"Pretty much everything that lives in Tasmania, we've seen dead on the road," said scientist Alistair Hobday, who has compiled the figures in one of the most extensive roadkill studies in the world.

"Of that, 70 per cent are hit in roadkill blackspots, which only exist on small sections of the road."

2. roadkill.wilddiscovery.com.au/ "Wild Discovery Guides - Australian Wildlife RoadKill, A Wild Discovery Guide" with Len Zell.

Wild Discovery PO Box 1696 Townsville Qld 4810 ISBN 0-9757184-3-6 RRP: A$19.95. The description is:

Roadkill was shortlisted for the 2007 Whitley Award for significant contribution to Australian zoology. This is the essential 'in-car' book for any road traveller in Australia. With about one million kilometres of road, anyone travelling them is, sadly, very likely to see or cause roadkill - certainly of the millions of small bugs that will be hit.This book provides an overview of the types of roadkill, hints on what to do with them, how to clean bugs off the car and an eclectic mix of other information - from road safety to recipes. In addition the book gives an unusual insight into the many aspects of Australia's very special fauna, albeit in a somewhat macabre way.More than 200 photographs of roadkill all some identification and an excellent guide on how to avoid and observe roadkill and who to send interesting specimens to.

3. Macabre ‘humour' at www.wwwildcats.com/abz.htm

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Due to the creative genius of one Charlie Conroy whom we proudly claim as one of our own, we are excited to announce a world first, the ABZ of ROADKILL. This is a photographic competition open to all bikers worldwide, it is designed to utilise something that would otherwise just lie around going to waste, and is currently regarded just as something to stay upwind of and to avoid hitting when it is lying in the middle of the road. This comp is aimed as a small way of making their sacrifice worthwhile and at the same time offending the general population. Both worthy aspirations of any genuine bikers!

4. Ten minutes on Google can find you a whole lot of insensitive things done and thought about roadkill.

Comments

Thanks Valerie. I too am very concerned about roadkill and just today wrote to the biodiversity officer at the local council suggesting what council might do to alleviate roadkill and biodiversity loss.

1. It's not physically possible to put underpasses on existing roads but overpasses should be possible especially where there is a great deal of roadworks going on with bush on either side that wildlife would inhabit. Simple animal crossings could be constructed of roap configured as a ladder as possums, bandicoots and koalas would traverse that. This is something that would not cost very much money and could be implemented widely without too much disruption to traffic.
See *http://velocity.ansto.gov.au/velocity/ans0011/article_02.asp*

2. More road signs urging people to slow down at dawn and dusk in order to avoid hitting wildlife. As I mentioned, many people are unaware of the possible presence of joeys in marsupials' pouches and if they were better educated more people might stop to check. Could there be an ongoing education of the community via local papers?

3. Supplement wildlife carers for any costs incurred in rehabilitating injured animals (food, veterinary fees, medications, petrol, equipment). I realise this has never been done before but since many carers are on a pension they often sacrifice their own food requirements to look after the animals or buy a cheap type of food that is not good for the animal instead of buying the best food for them. Alternately, carers work full-time which limits their ability to care for wildlife. I have come across injured wildlife at midnight only to find that no carers wanted to help as they had to get up early to go to work.

4. Council could purchase a building to be used as a wildlife hospital and pay specialist wildlife vets and staff to work there 24/7. At present carers have to drive to Currumbin hospital over the boarder which is costing a lot in petrol and stressing out the injured animal unnecessarily. It appears most of the council funding is being used on bush regen and control of Indian Myna birds. Council is spending millions of dollars on other programs, why not wildlife? It is worth a lot to the shire due to our ecotourism industry which is growing, but not if we lose them all due to roadkill!

I hope they do more than they are at present as we have huge biodiversity loss in Tweed shire.

It's really terrible to be subjected to the sight of death and destruction of native animals on Australian roads . Tasmania does seem to be particularly bad. Once on a drive from Hobart to Port Arthur I saw a dead native animal every kilometer or so. One of the locals in response to my dismay said it was actually a "good sign" because it showed how healthy the environment was- being able to support all those animals ! ( I should have been glad, not sad.) Just a few minutes ago in the middle of a suburban street I saw a squashed magpie where you really can't drive any faster than about 45kms per hour. How did the driver manage to kill a bird on this street unless it was done deliberately ? For years I have avoided driving at night in the country for the very reason that I do not want to hit an animal. If you drive fast at night eventually I think you will hit one. Twilight is also a bad time. Of course the underlying problem is the obvious-too many roads and too many people driving cars on them.

you'll never stop roadkill unless you ban the use of roads, cars, trucks, bikes and lets not forget trains.....

How about if the Morons who drive too fast on our roads and kill innocent wildlife were culled..,would that cut the roadkill toll down..How about we start culling useless, mindless, cruel, heartless cretins in this country and give our beautiful wildlife a chance to survive...Humans are in plague proportion and are like a rampant virus destroying this earth...All animals on our earth have as much right to exist in peace and protected from harm as do humans and the sooner we wake up to that fact we are rapidly running out of time...

I agree with the post above from ‘anonymouse’ almost posted similar myself.

To stop roadkill is impossible and clearly impractical.

The “Wildlife overpasses” in the link supplied by Menkit above seem a practical relatively low cost Alternative for Tree Dwellers. Gets my approval and should be encouraged

Newer sections of the Calder freeway in Vic have a high Chainwire fences which I assume are to exclude wildlife (probably to protect People) though I am not aware of any provision to allow Wildlife to cross the freeway safely. I reckon wildlife crossings should be essential components on all Major Roadways and considered everwhere.

Quark I consider you are drawing an extremely long bow to even suggest that a dead magpie in a 45Km zone was run down deliberately. Unless you were an eyewitness to the event I suggest such wild accusations be kept to yourself. Posting such unsubstantiated notions on an internet forum does nothing for your credibility and merely displays your ignorance.

Subject was: Bessie, my beloved dog. -  Ed

As I was taking my 6 year old dog out for a walk she was run over by a car. She survived the hit after a shattered jaw and a twisted leg, as my mum carried the battered loved one back home she lay there knowing she was loved. 5 minutes later my dad comes to help take her to the vets hoping and praying she will be alright... Unfortunately she never made it to the vets as she died in the car. However, she was with my mum and she was loved, and it was better that she went then and not alone, on the road with no one there... PLEASE!!!!! help me stop road kill! I cried buckets for her and can't let any one else go through that pain!!!!!!!! PLEASE HELP ME STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Mollie,

We are very sorry to hear of the death of your companion of six years, Bessie.
I have mentioned her in an article about a cat who I learned was also a victim of road kill. "Road death of a cat who was a great friend to baby kangaroos".
If you would like to send us a picture of Bessie, we could put this up with your comment asking for an end to roadkill.

Vale Bessie,

candobetter team