Working together to save wildlife on the road
During June and July, the EWT ran training sessions for the staff of N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) regarding the issue of animals being killed on their road. The N3TC started collecting records of animals killed on their roads in 2011, as part of their ongoing safety.
The N3TC participated in a Road Ecology Conference hosted by the EWT in 2012, and co-sponsored the inaugural Green Mile conference in 2013. The N3TC have agreed to analyse the data they have collect with a view to implementing actions to reduce the number of animals killed on their route and provide training for staff responsible for dealing with safety hazards such as animals found dead on the road.
This year, the EWT compiled a report on the data collected by the N3TC which revealed a number of interesting aspects:
• 76% of all the animals reported as found dead on the road were wildlife species with domestic animals following at 15%.
• The Endangered Oribi has been reported as being killed on the road – a concern to both organisations.
• The most frequently killed animal on the road is ‘rabbits’, followed by domestic dogs, owls and jackal.
The recently held training programme covered topics such as what is road ecology and why is it important, the type of mitigation that can be considered to address the problem, legislation, and species identification. Training included an outing on Modderfontein Nature Reserve, where participants had the chance to identify species in nature using their new knowledge. For some this was the first time they had visited a nature reserve. One of the dangers of removing apparently dead animals from roads is that the animal may in fact not be dead – including snakes. After a talk on snake identification and snake bite treatment, participants were able to touch snakes, which had a positive impact on their attitude towards snakes.
The EWT looks forward to continuing this exciting relationship with the N3TC and helping them reduce the number of animals killed on their roads. Not only is the death of wildlife (and livestock) a concern but so is the safety of the drivers and passengers using the road. By working together, we can create a safer environment for all road users.