Koalas on camera - crossing safely

Published 6:00am 4 January 2024

Koalas on camera - crossing safely
Words by Nick Crockford

Special cameras are showing koalas use purpose-built animal underpasses to avoid busy roads in the City of Moreton Bay.

Since September, numerous koalas have been photographed by a wildlife monitoring system at 15 crossings throughout the city.

Experts believe these koalas may be looking for mates, with warmer weather bringing mating and joey birthing season.

Faunatech wildlife cameras have also photographed other threatened species such as echidnas and gliders using safe animal crossings in this region.

Australia's largest wildlife crossing network has rope bridges, enclosed box bridges and tunnel underpasses with climbing logs and platforms, to keep native animals safe from predators.

More pictures - click through

Since being installed in 2019, Faunatech cameras have captured more than 54,000 photos of native wildlife using these animal crossings.

Sites fitted with Faunatech wildlife cameras are at: Bribie Island East; Bribie Island West; Collins Rd East; Collins Rd West; Discovery Drive; Endeavor Blvd; Kremzow Rd (rope bridge and underpass); Oakey Flat Rd East; Oakey Flat Rd West; Old North Rd; Torrens Rd and Walkers Rd.

May-Le Ng, an ecologist at Faunatech Australia, which operates the vast camera system, said it had “revealed some promising insights”.

“We’ve recorded rarely seen species, including the squirrel glider and feathertail glider, using bridges to cross busy roads.," Ms Ng said.

Koalas on camera - crossing safely
One of the special cameras on Collins Rd.

“In fact, we’ve observed gliders crawling into the enclosed ‘box’ style bridges, along with climbing across the simpler rope ladder bridges.

“It took years to spot our first glider species on camera.

“This shows that animals are capable of adapting their behaviour if safe wildlife crossing infrastructure is provided.

“The photos these wildlife cameras have captured can help scientists to keep track of changing animal behaviour, species dispersal, and habitat connectivity.

Koalas on camera - crossing safely
The Kremzow Rd wildlife underpass and rope bridge

“This data can also help to inform Council on future transport planning decisions."

A City of Moreton Bay spokesperson said animal crossings are critical, given some 1.3 million motorists use the roads and highways in this region every day.

"Our green infrastructure safely connects animal habitats while reducing the risk of wildlife-related vehicle collisions, roadside injuries, and deaths impacting native animals,” the spokesperson said.

“The system improves overall safety for motorists."

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