Commuters on the Mid North Coast are noticing an increase in the numbers of native animals lying dead along roadways – many painted with a blue cross.
According to Meredith Ryan, president of FAWNA (For Australian Wildlife Needing Aid) this is the ‘peak time’ for roadside deaths of this kind.
“In the last month of winter it’s often quite dry but you get a bit more greener pick along the roadside.”
Water drains off the roadside helping to keep this vegetation greener and more attractive to wildlife and according to Meredith petrol fumes are believed to make the grass sweeter.
FAWNA is the licensed wildlife care group for the 18,000 square km area ranging from Bulahdelah in the south to the northern part of the Kempsey Shire, and west to Stroud and Gloucester.
The blue cross indicates a volunteer has checked the dead animal’s pouch for a joey.
"Not all rescued joeys are developed enough to be viable for rehabilitation but they deserve a humane end to life,” Meredith explains.
“The wonderful vets in FAWNA's region do a tremendous service to these wildlife and FAWNA could not do its job without their kindnesss, humanity and expertise.”
Meredith urges drivers to slow down. She drives along Pipeclay Road in the Wauchope area almost every day and has seen two dead macropods (the kangaroo family, which includes wallabies) in the space of two days.
“I have been driving that road for 35 years and have never hit anything.
“People drive like crazy. We’re too busy in our lives and we drive too fast and that’s the consequence.”
She would also like to encourage motorists to download the free IFAW Wildlife Rescue App which puts you in direct contact with the nearest rescue organisation in NSW, at the touch of a button.
The app was developed in partnership between the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the NSW Wildlife Council.