16 June 2007

Unique wildlife - can Sydney afford it?

In most sub-urban space people are unwilling to share with native wildlife, especially because of habitat destruction. Their individualised transport modes fragment animal habitat even more and make it deadly for all. Just like many human beings are killed and maimed on these motorised mobility arteries, so are the local Australian animals.
In only one of Sydney's suburbs on the North Shore (map) a study has found the following:
"One possum per day is dying on a single 40-kilometre stretch of road”.

The researcher collected
600 dead possums,
dozens of local birds and
10 dead bandicoots in a 2 year period.

Elsewhere, in Tasmania 1,700 Tasmanian Devils get killed on the roads every year.

People living in the remaining iconic Australian bush report the following on their walks:
“In six months I’ve counted
eight dead wallabies,
today’s possum,
plus several pigeons,
a kookaburra,

a noisy mynah...,
a couple of young magpies,
a galah,
plus countless lizards and snakes.

They’re just what I’ve seen walking one or two days a week, on a road without much traffic. “

In local National Parks I have seen irresponsible cars racing, deliberately knocking down wallabies. Many of these killing incidents are not accidents, bad and neglectful infrastructural planning is a cause, but willful racing, or even 'possum busting' seems to be a national sport.

Reported acts of individuals eradicating wildlife in their habitats:

Check out Australia's big contribution to species extinction on this map.
Images: Ringtail sculpture & Eora 'graffiti', rock-painting.

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