Council’s innovative trial helping keep local wildlife safe

Date published: 23 June 2023

Council is aiming to keep native animals safe from traffic by installing virtual fencing along a section of Angus Smith Drive this week.

Roadside Wildlife Reflectors (virtual fencing) will be installed on an identified section of Angus Smith Drive this Monday, 26 June, as part of the first stage of this innovative animal protection trial.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said Council were buoyed by a similar trial using virtual fencing in Tasmania which led to a 50 per cent reduction in road deaths of the Tasmanian Devil.

“Virtual fencing is a sequential warning system that alerts animals with sound and flashing lights, before they cross the road as a vehicle’s headlights flash a reflector on a pole,” Cr Soars said.

“This only works between dusk and dawn, so drivers need to exercise their own caution with animals crossing in early daylight and evening.

“The warning system is powered battery embedded in the reflector attached to a post.

“Anything we can do to help protect our local wildlife and avoid traffic accidents is a real positive and the works will only take one day to complete (weather and project conditions permitting).”

This Roadside Wildlife Reflector Trial will be monitored in partnership with James Cook University utilising two trail cameras capturing movement of the wildlife that will guide Council’s understanding and the success of this trial.

“The installed cameras will not be placed facing towards residential areas, and the sound and lights emitted by the reflectors will not be disruptive to surrounding houses and/or passing motorists,” Cr Soars said.

“Residents should also remember they can contact Council to report and remove deceased wildlife.”

Council is committed to promoting and encouraging a well-educated community that participates in the protection and promotion of our dry tropics and reef coast.

Visit our Council’s Sustainability and Environment page for more information.

Roadside Wildlife Reflectors (virtual fencing)
Caption: Roadside Wildlife Reflectors (virtual fencing).