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Interest in virtual fauna fencing continues

Interest from Australia and around the world in council’s virtual fauna fencing trial continues to grow with the most recent enquiry coming from Mount Gambier, South Australia.

Council began the virtual fauna fencing trial in 2018 at Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs and expanded to Nojoor Road, Mudjimba in December 2019.

After support from the community, it was further expanded in April 2020 to include a 1.5km stretch of Sugar Bag Road and Sunset Drive, Little Mountain.

The monitoring of all sites is still in progress and will be reviewed later this year. It will determine the efficacy of council’s management strategies.

The virtual fence uses a network of stand-alone acoustic posts, designed by Wildlife Safety Solutions. These green posts are installed intermittently along the roadside. The posts operate from dusk till dawn – and are activated by vehicle headlights. Approaching headlights trigger lights and sound devices fitted on the posts which aim to warn fauna.

Council has installed more than 180 posts across more than 5km of high-conflict roads.

Council has partnered with wildlife rehabilitation and research groups to identify priority areas for the technology and intends to continue installing the technology in the highest priority areas.

To date, implementing the fencing project across the three sites has cost around $40,000.  

Council has partnered with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in the trial at Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs.

The virtual fauna fencing is in addition to other measures which were introduced to reduce the number of vehicle collisions with fauna near the university. An underpass at Claymore Rd, Sippy Downs, was an early intervention tool. In addition, roadside vegetation was trimmed in key areas to improve visibility and provide motorists with advance warning of wildlife.

An education campaign “Look after our mob” was undertaken with USC and local industry, including Youi, to inform them of the presence and importance of the kangaroos in the area.

Vehicle-activated LED warning signs have also been installed at Sippy Downs, following consultation with local wildlife rescue and sustainability groups.

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