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Reducing the Incidence of Wildlife Roadkill: Improving the visitor experience in Tasmania

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Magnus, Z and Kriwoken, L and Mooney, NJ and Jones, ME (2004) Reducing the Incidence of Wildlife Roadkill: Improving the visitor experience in Tasmania. Technical Report. Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism, Gold Coast MC.

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Abstract

One of Australia’s premier tourist locations, Tasmania also boasts Australia’s highest incidence of wildlife roadkill, a sight that often offends tourists. Tasmanian tourism is highly regarded for its wildlife tourism sector, which attracts many visitors to the state to view and interact with wildlife. Tasmanian newspapers and State government departments commonly receive letters and telephone calls from visitors and residents who demand government action to reduce the amount of roadkill on Tasmanian roads. These protests are often based on ethical and aesthetic grounds. Wildlife roadkill can also directly adversely impact on wildlife tourism businesses themselves. Wildlife tourist operators rely on relatively high density, accessible populations of wildlife, so that viewing of wildlife is reliable. In some situations, these populations are threatened by high levels of road mortality. Roadkill also negatively impacts the tourism industry because it represents a risk to driver safety. Reduction in the availability of hire cars due to associated repairs, especially over the summer months, is also a negative impact on the tourism industry. The objectives of this project were to address these issues by evaluating techniques to reduce wildlife roadkill and discussing suitability and implementation of these methods in Tasmania. A number of techniques were not evaluated, but are covered briefly. Several measures were identified as being likely to reduce wildlife roadkill and/or decreasing visitor distress on account of roadkill. These are: wildlife signage, escape routes, table drain (ditch) management, platypus crossings, underpasses and potentially odour repellents. Ultrasonic whistles, wildlife reflectors and lighting have doubtful application, at least in Tasmania, although managers should follow up on current research in these areas. Light-coloured road surfacing and use of “driving lights” remain as possibilities for further trials. In terms of further research, priority should be given to research furthering our understanding of roadkill events and sites, and wildlife behaviour in reaction to oncoming traffic. This information will better equip research into wildlife mitigation measures. These results are useful for road management authorities, environmental management authorities, and consultants who provide advice on mitigation of environmental impacts of road developments. This document will enable better roadkill mitigation, which will result in an improved experience for visitors to Tasmania.

Item Type: Report (Technical Report)
Keywords: Tasmania; Australia; wildlife roadkill; sustainable tourism; visitor experience; environmental impacts; management
Publisher: Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism
Additional Information: The objectives of this report were to address issues by evaluating techniques to reduce wildlife roadkill and discussing suitability and implementation of these methods in Tasmania.
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2008 03:57
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:28
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/3027
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