Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

July 17th 2008
Roadkill: the Island's saddest statistics

The dead barking owl at Cockle Bay Every day an average of 1.4 animals are killed on Magnetic Island's roads and that's not counting the large numbers of birds such as curlews that are seen dead beside roads all too often. Last night another of the uncounted died on the West Point road. This time it was a barking owl.

Since there has been considerable discussion about barking owls of late we thought readers may wish to consider the fate of this almost perfectly intact owl which was found near the wastewater plant at Cockle Bay.

As the dead owl was found just 1.3 km from the Picnic Bay tip it seems possible, even likely, that this bird was the remaining female referred to by, letter writer, Donald Simpson who wrote to us recently stating: "The male of the Picnic Bay pair of barking owls was killed by a car in early September 2007 on Birt Street near the rubbish dump. The female stayed within 50 metres or so of the accident site for some weeks. She is still to be heard most nights somewhere in Picnic Bay (I heard her last night), and as far as I can tell from the calls, she is still without a mate." (click here for full letter)

Could this barking owl, which Donald Simpson
photographed in Picnic Bay, be the same as
the dead one above?

The owl's body has been collected for examination by a zoologist and this may help determine more information about the bird's habits and identity.

The figures from New Townsville City Council show that from July 07 to April 08, 253 small and medium sized animals were collected from the Island's roads.

Following is a short article about Magnetic Island Fauna Care Organisation (MIFCO)which cares for sick, injured or orphaned animals on Magnetic Island:

It's their Island too

A visitor to our island wrote "Magnetic Island, a short ferry ride off the coast of Townsville, is like visiting a small community that lies within a zoo. With only a sprinkling of hostels, hotels and shops along the coast, the remainder of the island is undeveloped and crawling with the wildlife that you'd pay $30 to see at any major zoo. "

Magnetic Island is blessed with fantastic wildlife. Sadly, be it through acts of nature or human interaction, they often become sick, injured or orphaned. The fact is we are a society that has moved into an environment originally occupied mainly by native animals. Through our life style, especially driving, these animals often suffer.

For this reason in 2006 the Magnetic Island Fauna Care Organization (MIFCO) was started. MIFCO is a non-profit organisation run entirely by volunteer carers who have completed Queensland wildlife training courses and is proudly supported by Bungalow Bay Koala Village and Magnetic Island Veterinary Surgery.

Since its origins MIFCO carers have had numerous species of wildlife in their care with many saved and released back into their 'island' environment.

If you come upon a native animal or bird that is ill or injured please contact MIFCO on the 24 hour emergency number O427 918 130. We ask all residents and businesses to keep our number close at hand.

Remember wildlife is on the move especially at sunrise and sunset so please drive with caution and care, "it's their island too".

Top photo: George Hirst
2nd photo: Donald Simpson

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Roadkill: the Island's saddest statistics
Vern Veitch
July 18th 2008
So sad to see an owl dead. Probably blinded by headlights. I hope that the MI Plan of Management can go some way to addressing this problem. I guess the only positive is that at least the island
July 26th 2008
so sad.

part of the problem is that people tend to treat the island's roads like some sort of go karting circuit and speed around it at ridiculous speeds.
both locals and tourists are at fault of this.

unless you are driving an ambulance i very much doubt that anyone would be in a rush to get anywhere, its not new york for goodness sake.

slowdown and be cautious!
September 12th 2008
I wont drive faster than 50km/ph and am happy to slow right down if someone gets too close behind.It's not Calder race park! The buses drive way too fast! What's this business of overtaking on the left at the Sooning and Kelly st crossing? What your going to get to the next bay 30 seconnds earlier than me? Good on ya!
I've had enough of poor animals getting killed on the road and will now start YELLING and embarassing anyone who drives too fast! I think we need to get lots of speed humps to slow everyone down.The Curlew is going to be extinct in 50 years at the current state of carnage.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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