Visitors to Tasmania are often distressed at the high number of road-killed animals they see. Wildlife often cross Tasmania's country roads at night. Being aware of this and taking care could save an animal's life and avoid damage to your car. Local populations of native animals have been known to become extinct due to road mortality.
If travelling at night, scan the sides of the road for wildlife (this will also help you keep alert). Remember that animals such as Tasmanian devils are very hard to see against a black bitumen road, particularly when it is wet.
Driving more slowly at night will give both you and the animal a better chance of avoiding a collision. Take note of wildlife warning signs. They are there to advise you of known 'hot spots'. Animals react differently to approaching cars and it is best to let the animal move off first before passing. In areas where the road is bordered by steep banks on either side, animals can often become trapped and unable to escape from approaching cars. Drive with special care in such areas.
Don't throw any rubbish, including apple cores or other fruit and vegetable scraps from your car. This attracts wildlife to feed on the sides of roads, thereby increasing the risk of roadkill.
In the case of an accident
If you are unfortunate enough to hit an animal, please stop if it is safe to do so. The casualty may be able to be treated. Female marsupials very often have pouch young which can be saved. Injured and orphaned animals require special treatment. Keep the animal in a warm, dark place when transporting it and contact the Department of Primary Industries and Water (phone 03 6233 6556) or contact the nearest Parks and Wildlife Service office as soon as possible. They will advise you how to care for the animal or find foster parents for it.
If you choose to hand-raise the orphan yourself, keep in mind that permits are required. See our "caring for orphaned wildlife" page for full details. Rangers remove dead animals from roads around national parks reserves. This helps stop Tasmanian devils and other scavenging animals such as the threatened wedge-tailed eagle from being killed when they are feeding off a road kill. If you remove an animal from the road consider your own safety.
See the web site at www.roadkilltas.com for further information on roadkill "hotspots" and how to reduce roadkill.