Wildlife movement solutions
Wildlife movement solutions (WMS) are wildlife-friendly crossing infrastructure installed where roads intersect ecological corridors to facilitate the safe movement of wildlife. Examples of this infrastructure includes fencing, culvert underpasses, land-bridge overpasses, poles and rope bridges. Wildlife signs and road pavement markings are also a form of WMS, which may inform the driver to slow down and adhere to the speed limit or be especially vigilant driving through areas known to be wildlife crossing points.
Compton Road landbridge
One of the most successful wildlife movement solutions in the Brisbane City Council area is the land-bridge linking Karawatha Forest on the southern side of Compton Road to an area north of Compton Road known as Kuraby Bushlands. In 2004 Council upgraded Compton Road from two to four lanes. Wildlife-friendly crossing infrastructure was incorporated into the road upgrade design to mitigate some of the risks to fauna.
The infrastructure now includes eight glider poles, three rope ladders, fauna-friendly culverts, exclusion fencing, escape poles and a fauna land-bridge. Infra-red cameras were installed during the construction process to monitor fauna use. Research undertaken by Griffith University, the Queensland Museum and the Southern Cross University as part of Council's Biodiversity Research Partnership Program, has found that a variety of fauna are using the land-bridge and other structures to move between the two areas of bushland.
Results from monitoring wildlife movement at the Compton Road land-bridge have shown that investing in wildlife movement solutions as part of infrastructure projects is an invaluable and worthwhile exercise and shows Council is well on its way to achieving its aim to protect biodiversity by reconnecting ecological corridors.
Other WMS locations
There are many other areas across the city where Council has installed wildlife management solutions. These locations include:
- Hamilton Road - land bridge , glider poles and rope ladders
- Gap Creek Road - wildlife underpasses
- Wolston Road - wildlife underpasses and exclusion fencing
- Blunder Rd - glider poles
- Trinity Way - glider poles
- Paradise Road - glider poles and rope ladder
- Scrub Road - glider poles and rope ladder
- Telegraph Road - glider poles and rope ladder
Council is embarking on a new 'zones' approach to WMS and has proactively identified areas across the City for focused on-ground action. Hotspot zones have been determined using contemporary information that considers:
- important road crossing points for wildlife, particularly near or adjacent to bushland (high occurence of wildlife/vehicle strike)
- roads that may be forming impermeable barriers for wildlife movement through ecological corridors (wildlife population isolation)
- interface of high traffic volume and/or vehicle speed and areas of high biodiversity value (threat to local wildlife populations and road safety concerns).
To ensure wildlife can move safely through and between habitat areas and to ensure Council can deliver cost-effective solutions across the city where they are most needed, a zones approach is being taken to guide investment into new WMS. Using a variety of sources, wildlife crossing hotspots have been identified across the city.
Zone 1 - Mount Gravatt-Capalaba Road, Chandler
The combination of high koala activity,high vehicle speed and traffic volume has resulted in a serious threat to this local koala population. Road pavement markings to identify this area as a wildlife zone, LED speed-variation wildlife warning signs and static wildlife signs are installed to alert drivers to slow down and be vigilant, particularly at dawn and dusk when koalas are most active. The effectiveness of the infrastructure will be monitored which will provide valuable information as to whether additional actions are required.
Zone 2 - Wacol Station Road
The next focus for WMS will be on Wacol Station Road and the surrounding streets to try and mitigate the high occurrence of vehicle strikes with eastern grey kangaroos.
Additional zones are currently under assessment to investigate what other actions can be taken to help protect wildlife.
How can you help
You can help too by being vigilant of wildlife on roads and slowing down in the signed areas.
If you see a sick, injured or orphaned native animal, phone the RSPCA Native Animal Ambulance on 1300 ANIMAL
Report animals on Brisbane local roads to Council’s Contact Centre on 07 3403 8888.