Virtual fencing trial underway in bid to reduce koala road deaths

Published on 13 April 2022

Green virtual fencing post fitted with a light sensor

Tea Tree Gully Council and 1300KOALAZ are trialling the use of virtual fencing to reduce koala road deaths.

An initial operational trial is underway along a 500-metre section of Range Road North in Upper Hermitage.

We are monitoring installation and maintenance costs and the impact of the fencing on residents.

Virtual fencing emits low-level sounds and light when a vehicle approaches at night. In many cases, this causes animals that are about to cross the road to pause long enough for the vehicle to pass by safely. The sensors are attached to posts at 25-metre intervals on alternating sides of the road.

Then from mid-2022, the Council will partner with the University of Adelaide for a scientific study on how effective virtual fencing is in preventing koalas from colliding with vehicles.

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

Both trials are with the support of local wildlife agency 1300KOALAZ, who contributed $40,000 worth of virtual fencing for the project.

Cheryl Zampin from 1300KOALAZ welcomed the news of the trial getting underway.

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

“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."

We thank Adelaide Hills Council, which borders Range Road North, for their cooperation with the trials.   

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

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