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Adelaide Hills Council virtual fence trial aimed at reducing roadkill incidents

Council is working with Adelaide fauna rescue organisation 1300Koalaz, to trial virtual wildlife fencing on a local road section that is deemed dangerous to wildlife.

Virtual Fencing

Adelaide Hills Council virtual fence trial aimed at reducing roadkill incidents

It is estimated that vehicle strike is responsible for the deaths of 10 million animals in Australia every year as they traverse roads.

Aside from the animal welfare issues and distress to wildlife rescuers and road users alike, it is also a road safety issue for drivers. Evidently Australia is behind the rest of the world in terms of putting in place wildlife crossing structures and measures that reduce the impact of our roads, and South Australia is lagging well behind the other States and Territories.

Council is working with Adelaide fauna rescue organisation 1300Koalaz, to trial ‘virtual’ wildlife fencing on a local road section that is deemed dangerous to wildlife.

Virtual fencing is an electronic protection system that alerts animals at night before crossing the road (pictured below).

The system consists of a series of posts set at 25-metre intervals along the road in a zigzag pattern on both sides of the road. When a vehicle approaches, the headlights activate a sensor at the top of each pole which triggers it to make a sound and flash blue and yellow lights creating a ‘virtual fence’ that helps deter animals.

The technology has previously been trialed by the Tasmanian government, wildlife conservation groups and many councils across the country, including in South Australia, often resulting in significant reductions in roadkill and animal injuries, leading to overall improved road safety for drivers.

The Adelaide Hills Council has identified a one-kilometre trial site along Greenhill Road, from the Mt Lofty Summit Road and adjacent the Yanagin Council Reserve in Greenhill. It is a notorious hotspot for vehicle strikes on Koalas and other wildlife, such as Kangaroos and Possums.

The success of the fence trial will be determined by comparing the road incident data collected by Council and 1300Koalaz, prior to and following installation. If the trial is deemed successful, Council will consider expanding the use of the technology to other hotspots within the region.

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