Sunday, 1 February 2015

Oh no. Not another cute koala.

Today's koala sighting.

Thanks to the sharp eyes of a member of our group (thanks John), this one was spotted beside Adare Road, near the intersection with Fords Road.

This sighting highlights the danger that koalas will be in from vehicle strike if the motocross track is approved at the end of Adare Road.  This koala has only two directions in which it can go from its tree without crossing a road.  The other two directions take it across roads that currently are relatively busy, but nothing like the traffic that will exist if the motocross track is approved.

With motocross traffic along Adare Road four to six nights per week, and a predicted (by the applicant) maximum volume of 150 vehicles per hour around opening and closing times, there will be absolute slaughter of koalas.

We're not talking city run-about vehicles.  The majority of these will be utes, vans, and 4-WDs, mostly towing trailers loaded with motocross bikes.  They don't stop fast.

Just about the whole length of Adare Road has some bush one side or the other.

The amount of remaining bushland along Adare Road is a big plus for koalas.  It means there's still plenty of connection between habitat areas.  Habitat fragmentation is one of the big dangers for koala (and most wildlife) populations.

But there doesn't have to be a lot of bushland alongside the road for koalas to want to cross.  Even where there isn't thick bush, koalas will still cross the road.

A koala was found dead on the road here a year ago.

In suburban areas such as those in and around Brisbane where at-risk koala colonies are getting a lot of attention in the media, vehicle strike has overtaken disease as the leading cause of koala death.  Luckily that isn't the case in the Adare-Vinegar Hill area at present.  There a few roads compared with suburban areas, and the majority of those roads have very low volumes of traffic, and mostly local drivers who are aware of the wildlife. We need to keep it that way - not just for the koalas, but for the safety of our community members as well.

Have a look at the map above.  That stretch of Adare Road, from Redbank Creek Road to the intersection with Ranger Road (where the Adare locality name is) is a school bus route.  School buses will be coming along this route in the hour before the motocross track will open Tuesday to Friday - when motocross traffic is at its busiest.

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