Tasmania, your roadkill state...
Next time you make a journey in your car after dusk, imagine who else might be making a nightly journey across your path - it could save your life - or theirs.
More than 3000 Tasmanian Devils are thought to be killed on the roads every year (up to 5.7% of their population). And they are just a small proportion of the estimated 226,000 Tasmanian animals killed by drivers on Tasmania's roads each year.
Tasmanian Devil conservationist Geoff King finds dead animals on the Arthur River Road every morning - and since the road has been sealed, more and more devils are being killed. Roads are attractive to devils because they form clear edges, similar to stream and creek lines, which devils like to patrol for food. They also attract devils looking for an easy meal of roadkill, unaware that the easy meal might cost them their lives.
Alistair Hobday has been surveying roadkill patterns across the state over three years, and he's found that roadkill is focussed in 'hotspots'. Devils, and other wildlife such as quolls, wombats and echidnas tend to be killed at high speeds. Alistair's research shows that by reducing cars' speed from 100 to 80 km/hour in these hotspots, Tasmania's roadkill toll could be halved. This wouldn't mean your dinner would get cold by the time you arrived home - in fact, reducing your speed to 80 km/hour at roadkill hotspots between Hobart and Launceston (about 10% of the road) would only make your trip three minutes longer.
Tasmania, Your Roadkill State is a 15 minute documentary, being screened at the State Cinema on 21 November, future dates to be announced.
For more information about roadkill research and how to help prevent roadkill deaths, visit www.roadkilltas.com.
Imaginocean Productions Email