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Journeys : RACT MNJ June July 2010
We apologise for not being able to publish all your responses -- but our thanks to other correspondents Sue Abernethy, Keven Saward, Margaret Emmett, Anne Temple- Smith, Beth Sowter, Amber Etheridge, Pam Jacobson, Emil Kavic, Ian Wallace, Terri and Kevin Appleby, Owen Evans, Elaine Waugh and Nancy Grogan. The Brahman bull event was experienced by R ACT member Robert Harris from Somerset, who has four of the sonic anti- roadkill devices on the front bumper of his motorhome. Robert says they work -- but he has a word of war ning. "We've had wasps clogging the holes with their nest-building 'mud' -- you need to check that the devices are clear, because anything that blocks the holes also stops the whistle," he says. More than 60 members joined our trial of the devices and over a third of them have responded with their experiences. With a couple of notable exceptions (the animals on Flinders Island don't want to co-operate) most reports sound positive. It's too early to make a definite call, though -- it will be interesting to hear more results as drivers travel through the longer hours of darkness this winter. We thank everyone who has taken time to email us. We don't have space to publish all the responses, but here's a sample. --------- Many thanks for the opportunity to try these devices -- they appear to be working. I put them on the car on the March long weekend, drove to Lake Leake and back that weekend, no hits, or even any near misses. So far, so good! Karen McGuinness On Br uny Island, several roo did appear to have taken notice as we approached -- they ran off, not across the road as they often do, but into the bush. Max Wood There's not a lot to report, which either says the devices are really good -- or the animals chose to stay away from the road! We have been on the road at night on a number of occasions but have not seen any wildlife. Imelda McShane Two wallabies have run into my car since I fitted the devices and I have not noticed other animals making a hasty retreat, so I would say they are not working. Over 14 evenings in March on the road from Beacon sfield to Greens Beach I counted 56 dead animals and birds. The speed limit at night should be reduced to 60km/h from Kelso to Greens Beach to try and save some of them. Vera Green I have been road testing the sonic animal devices for one month along Cradle Mountain Road and in this time six animals of different species wandered across the road, 10 to 50 metres in front of the car, when my speed was around 65 km /h. Most of the wildlife I noticed on the side of the road would either stay or turn back into the bush, where before they might have run onto the road as well. The speed limit on Cradle Mountain Road is 100 km/h but I drive between 65 and 80. I believe the devices are more efficient over 70 km/h. Thank you for the chance to help. Alan Walkley I think they do exhibit the desired effect to a certain extent, however the fact that they are not effective under speeds of 40 km /h makes them useless under conditions where you are most likely to encounter wildlife on the roads -- many r ural back roads are not suitable for driving faster than this and the many cor ners and bends in these roads mean you often have to brake suddenly, despite the fact that speed is not really a factor. Maybe the manufacturers can address this? Shelley Scott On several occasions I have driven through our forested areas around Tyenna after dark and have obser ved both wallabies and possums apparently retreating back from the roadway into the scr ub as my car approached. Several friends and neighbours have seen similar results, so the whistles certainly seem to be quite effective. Graeme Doxford A report on the success, or lack of, the sonic devices -- during the last three weeks I have killed three wallabies, one of which knocked off one of the devices. I believe the key to preventing roadkill is to drive to the conditions, which is between 40 and 70 km /h, more slowly when you know there is a lot of wildlife around. Of course, if you are driving with other traffic on the road it is not always possible to drive too slowly -- but here on Flinders that is not usually an issue! Rachel Dallas Wonderful thing to report is that there is nothing to report. One month along and I am delighted to say that I have had no encounters with our furry friends. Have noticed some tails disappearing into the bush and some alerted pademelons and wallabies with their heads up and very aware of something approaching but no attempt to move towards the road. Very happy! Ian Stopforth Since I put the things on I've passed 500 roo. I've hit three. That leaves 497. 480 of them ran away. That leaves 17 that just stood there. Reckon they might have been deaf. Result -- inconclusive. Peter Chivers King Island I've had the war ning devices fitted to our Subar u Forester, which I use when I've got small groups to shuttle around the state. So far the score one brushtail possum killed late afternoon on the Hollow Tree Road from the Lyell Highway to Hollow Tree (it ran out from the verge of the road into my vehicle -- impossible to stop in time although I was only doing about 40 km/h). Comparing the results with these devices and the ones I had fitted to one of my buses (I've two other vehicles without the devices), it doesn't seem to make any difference -- wildlife gra zing on the roadside seem to get startled by all vehicles. Brushtail possums ignore all vehicles, and wallabies still launch themselves at them. Graham McLean Tasmanian Wilderness Experiences 'They even shift Brahman bulls off the road!' Life on the move 21 June /July 2010
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