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Journeys : Feb March 2010
In our community The summer months are roadkill season for Tasmanian devils. Juvenile devils leave home at this time of year, sometimes roaming great distances, to search out dens of their ow n. This means that there are a lot more inexperienced youngsters on the move -- and on the roads. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program launched a Roadkill Project in December 2009 to mobilise members of the public to collect infor mation on devil roadkill. This information will help to deter mine just how significant the threat of roadkill is to the survival of devil population s already depleted by the horrific Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) and will inform on-ground management strategies. Recent studies have estimated that over 2000 Tasmanian devils are killed on our roads each year. That number is wor rying when you consider that 70% of the Tasmanian devil population has been wiped out by DFTD. In some locations, particularly in easter n Tasmania where the disease has been present for longer than other areas, local populations are down to only 10%. Members of the public have show n a real willingness to get involved in saving our most famous marsupial. This project is about harnessing that passion to ma ximise the resources we can draw on as we all work to save the Tasmanian devil. The two messages of the Roadkill Project are: • Slow dow n on the roads between daw n and dusk • Report a ny Tasmanian devil roadkill that you see Keep a supply of forms in your car so that if you see a roadkill devil you can report it as soon as possible. Don't be surprised if you report a devil roadkill and notice that the devil hasn't been collected. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program keeps data on all devil roadkill reported, but only collects ‘animals of interest', which may mean those with the disease in locations around the disease front, or in areas where the program is carrying out disease suppression trials. If you're travelling west of the Murchison Highway and you see a roadkill Tasmanian devil that appears to have Devil Facial Tumour Disease, call 6233 2006 immediately. Find out where you can pick up report for ms, visit the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program website -- w w w.tassiedevil.com.au Tasmanian devil Roadkill Project mobilises the public Do sonic anti-roadkill devices work? Help us find out! Devonport R ACT member Brian Wilson called us to say that his son and friends have reported successfully using sonic animal-scaring devices on long-distance drives in the Norther n Territory. In their opinion, the devices are effective in keeping animals off the road and out of the path of their vehicles. There's been no definitive research done by Australia's motoring clubs on these devices -- but we'd like to try a member- based program of testing in Tasmania. While we don't claim that this will provide conclusive results one way or the other, we hope it may generate some interesting anecdotal evidence. We propose to offer 20 free samples of the simplest sonic devices (pictured) to members who often encounter wildlife on the road. In future issues of Motor News Journeys we'll report on their obser vations of the devices in use. If you'd like to be involved, it's essential that you drive regularly on roads where wildlife is frequently observed; and also that you'll agree to email us a very brief monthly report on whether you think the devices do what they claim. Write to Roadkill Test, Motor News Jour neys, GPO Box 2271 Hobart 7001, including your contact details and the places you drive. 9 February / March 10
Dec Jan 2010
April May 2010