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This page provides feedback from travellers hopping along The Kangaroo Trail. If they have identified a good place to see kangaroos and their kind then we have added a Google map. If the feedback identifies services that can be provided to other travellers then please contact the provider directly.

Jennifer writes:

This is an interesting website but can I make a couple of suggestions? You need to include drive safety messages about the quality of the road, talk about the dangers of roos jumping across roads, need for roo bars etc Overseas visitors will assume they can hop in any car and see these roos easily within a short drive from any capital city so good maps which explain distances are vital It must also be explained that hunting is illegal. good luck    

Our reply:

Jennifer raises an important issue about the safety of road travellers and the mitigation of killing and maiming wildlife. Species as large as the kangaroos and wallabies can cause significant impact to a vehicle when hit a high speed leading to injury and fatalities and high insurance costs. Many car hire companies impose large penalties for animal-vehicle impacts, especially after dark. The Sustainable Tourism CRC produced a green guide for 4WD touring with excellent information about wildlife hazards and driver responses.

 

We have been amongst a number of researchers who have investigated the nature, causes and mitigation of roadkill with a focus on kangaroos (see the road ecology research group page). Roadkill may be a cause of the indifference or even hostility of Australians, who mostly live in cities on the coastal fringe of the continent, towards kangaroos. When we venture off the beaches and into the hinterland, we take our beloved car. When car meets roo on the highways and byways, the crash repairers profit and the dead or maimed kangaroo takes the blame. The adaptations and behaviour of the gentle herbivores of the kangaroo mob puts them at a disadvantage when car meets kangaroo in a metal-bending collision. Here the driver, usually travelling at high speed, with variable attentiveness and reaction time meets the kangaroo. The latter suddenly manifests with its unpredictable behaviour as its confronted with the complex configuration of light, sound and movement from a vehicle. Various forward-reaching sound and light stimuli have been developed to ward off the wildlife but research has shown a minimal increase in the predictability of animal behaviour in advance of a vehicle. The jinks and switchbacks of a kangaroo in flight have served them well in avoiding the predators with which they evolved. Country roads are poorly engineered, shedding water to a frequently mown verge, maintaining highly attractive lawn-like vegetation drawing kangaroos to the road edge. Ultimately the substantial road toll for kangaroos is a result of drivers behaving badly. After all the greater intelligence resides with the driver not the roo facing the juggernaut of an oncoming vehicle arriving at high speed. We surveyed commuters through a section of a peri-urban national park near Sydney. Most respondents said the appropriate way to avoid a collision with wildlife was to slow down at night. Vehicle monitors across the road actually showed higher speeds at night!

 

Kangaroos and their kind are protected wildlife throughout Australia. Harm including hunting is illegal unless licensed by the wildlife regulator in each State and Territory.

 



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Last modified: 03/11/08