Slow-down plea to save devils

MOTORISTS are being asked to take extra care over coming months as juvenile Tasmanian devils begin leaving their dens. November to March is known as the roadkill season as devils become independent from their mothers. It is also the time of year when many Tasmanians and visitors travel across the state for the holiday season. The devil’s black colour can make them hard to see against dark road surfaces, especially between dusk and dawn. Slowing down from 100km/h to 80km/h can reduce the number of animals killed on roads by 50 per cent.

This is especially important in identified devil roadkill hotspot areas, including:
• Woolnorth;
• The Forestier and Tasman Peninsulas;
• The Channel Highway, especially between Huonville and Cygnet;
• Nichols Rivulet Road; and
• The West Tamar Highway between Legana and Exeter.

Woolnorth represents one of the few areas where the devil remains abundant and unaffected by the Devil Facial Tumour Disease. Environment Minister Roger Jaensch said a campaign was being introduced to reduce the incidence of Tasmanian devil roadkill through driver awareness and education, including the installation of signage, combined with roadkill removal and speed limit reductions for trucks.

“I encourage all road users to slow down on our roads to help save our Tasmanian devils and other wildlife. This way we can all play a part in reducing roadkill on our roads,’’ Mr Jaensch said.