November 27th 2008
Letter: Horseshoe Bay roadkill continues
Over the past month, I have had to bury three Allied Wallabies in my garden. All have been hit by vehicles speeding up the top end of Horseshoe Bay Road past the Black Stump towards Arcadia. I saw the second of these struck by a car that was travelling at more than 80 kmh and the driver didn't pause for a second, despite a loud and sickening thud.
Over the same period, I have noticed at least three other native Wallabies dead on the side of the road, further round the bend. Presumably these met the same fate.
At least a couple of issues here. Firstly, some people are driving through the area much too fast. Certainly much too fast to brake or swerve to avoid swiping these unfortunate creatures. Secondly, this part of the Road is poorly lit and its probably impossible to see the Wallabies until it is too late. Also, virtually all of the roadside animal safety reflectors that were installed several years ago are now gone.
What really puzzles me is that in 13 years of living in the area, I have never previously seen any dead Allied Wallabies on the side of this part of Horseshoe Bay Road. There seems to have been a sudden spike in their numbers with a lot of juveniles roaming around (eg. two of the three I buried).
Anecdotal information from friends living in other parts of the Island seems to confirm this. Is the population really booming, or are they simply invading our watered gardens to find fresh food? Or could it be the case that these indigenous creatures are being displaced by other, perhaps introduced, animals? Perhaps a Scientist out there might have an explanation.
In the meantime, slow down, take care and watch out for these beautiful little creatures when you are travelling around the Island. Shaving 10 or 15 kmh off your driving speed is not going to make a crucial difference to your travelling time in such a small place.
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