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Distribution and abundance of roadkill on Tasmanian highways: human management options


Hobday, AJ and Minstrell, ML, Distribution and abundance of roadkill on Tasmanian highways: human management options, Wildlife Research, 35, (7) pp. 712-726. ISSN 1035-3712 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1071/WR08067


An obvious sign of potential human impact on animal populations is roadkill. In Tasmania, this impact is perceived as relatively greater than in other Australian states, and is often noted by visitors and locals alike, such that calls for management action are common in the popular press. The goal of this three-year study was to assess the frequency and distribution of species killed on Tasmanian roads. Seasonal surveys were completed along five major routes, for a total of 154 trips. Over 15000km of road were surveyed and 5691 individuals in 54 taxa were recorded for an average roadkill density of 0.372km-1. Over 50% of encountered roadkill could be identified to species, with common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) and Tasmanian pademelon (Thylogale billardierii) the most common species identified, both in overall numbers and frequency of trips encountered. The 10 most common taxa accounted for 99% of the items observed. The seasonal occurrence, relationship with vehicle speed, and clustering in local hotspots for particular taxa all suggest that mitigation measures, such as vehicle speed reduction in specific areas, may be effective in reducing the number of animals killed. Mitigation measures, however, will not apply equally to all species and, in particular, success will depend on changing human behaviours. © CSIRO 2008.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hobday, AJ (Dr Alistair Hobday)
UTAS Author:Minstrell, ML (Dr Melinda Minstrell)
ID Code:54185
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:92
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2009-02-12
Last Modified:2009-04-16

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