Virtual fencing trial to help reduce koala road deaths

Published on 16 August 2021

koala sitting in a tree

In a South Australian local government first, Tea Tree Gully Council plans to trial the use of virtual fencing to reduce the number of koala road deaths.

“Our community is lucky to have so much green space which is home to many koalas. Unfortunately,  there’s has been an increase in koala accidents on our roads, which is why we’ve partnered with 1300KOALAZ.”

“When we were told that almost 90 koalas had died on our roads since August 2018, we knew we had to do something,” said Deputy Mayor Lucas Jones.

Virtual fencing emits low-level sounds and light when a vehicle approaches at night, causing animals that are about to cross the road to pause - in many cases, long enough for the vehicle to safely pass by.

1300KOALAZ has offered the City of Tea Tree Gully $40,000 worth of virtual fencing - enough for a 4 km trial.

We plan to work with 1300KOALAZ, the Department of Infrastructure and Transport and other State Government departments and universities, to source funding and carry out research to develop a trial.

While the fences have been used successfully overseas and trialled interstate, the impact of virtual fencing on koalas and other SA wildlife is unknown.

Cheryl Zampin from 1300KOALAZ welcomed the news of the trial plans.

“Tea Tree Gully Council is leading the way in protecting wildlife from vehicle strike and has set the standard for other councils to follow their lead.

“Koalas are active between dusk and dawn, so please slow down and be on the lookout for koalas on our roads. No one wants to be the person who injures or causes death to a koala."

More about 1300KOALAZ, including what to do if you see an injured or orphaned koala

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