Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…read more
Koala safety shield trialled to reduce Queensland wildlife road toll
Ground-breaking koala safety shields are being trialled at Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) wildlife facility, David Fleay Wildlife Park before being installed on the M1 motorway.
In an innovative collaboration between DES and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the Koala shield metal guards – will be affixed to posts along the M1 motorway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast to prevent the claws of koalas and other nocturnal wildlife from getting a grip on the poles.
The shields are being tested at David Fleay Wildlife Park where they were installed onto structures within the koala enclosure, similar to the pylons along the M1.
Video cameras were installed to monitor the koalas’ efforts.
Queensland Minister for the Environment and Science Meghan Scanlon congratulated the teams from both departments who conducted the trial.
Minister Scanlon notes “the koala is an iconic native animal that is very territorial – a motorway filled with thousands of speeding cars will not deter a koala determined to get to the other side.
“This trial has delivered very promising results. Not a single koala was able to climb past the shields and in a bonus result, a possum also tried and was unsuccessful.”
The trial also enabled the teams to make informed decisions about the size of the shields and the best placement of them on the pylon.
While the DES team provided the testing site and the koalas, along with koala expertise, the TMR team provided the shields, and construction and materials support.
The next step is for shields to be installed on sections of noise barriers on the M1 Motorway.
“This has been a wonderful example of what can be achieved when very different teams come together and bring their unique knowledge and experiences to the project,” Minister Scanlon added.
“This work, and the work going forward to get these shields operational, will help thousands of koalas in southeast Queensland.
“Beyond that, who knows, there may be adaptive uses that see this technology exported to other jurisdictions.”
Shields will be installed in a section near Oyster Creek Drive and also on noise barriers between 19th Avenue and the Pine Shopping Centre on the western side of the motorway, which, according to data from the past 10 years, is where most of the koalas have accessed the motorway.
22nd February 2021 - Queensland Government continues to fund koala conservation efforts
29th January 2021 - Aussie Ark spots first Koala Joey in Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary
31st December 2020 - Sustainability grant helps fund new koala habitat in Greater Geelong
30th September 2020 - Zoos Victoria and RSPCA Victoria collaborate to build new koala hospital
3rd August 2020 - Australian Reptile Park announces successful koala breeding season
11th July 2020 - Evacuated koalas return to upgraded enclosure
9th January 2020 - Aussie Ark secures wild protected sanctuary for koalas
8th December 2019 - Queensland Government announces new plans to protect koalas
16th November 2019 - Taronga Conservation calls for urgent funding to address emerging koala crisis
26th February 2019 - NSW Government to boost Koala population and improve national park access
11th December 2018 - Improved mapping leads to better outcomes for koala habitat
7th September 2018 - Land clearance to cause Koala extinction in NSW by 2050
18th July 2018 - Gold Coast City Council looks to boost local koala habitat
7th July 2018 - Australian Reptile Park welcomes record koala breeding season
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