On Friday and Saturday I had occasion to drive to Adelaide. From home to the city takes just under an hour to complete the 75km along the South Eastern Freeway. On the journey Friday I was concerned about the number of road kills I saw involving birds. On Saturday I decided to do a rough count; it was an estimate because I needed to concentrate on driving as well.
Here is a tally of the dead animals I saw on the side of the road:
- Australian Magpies 14
- Common Blackbird 1
- Stumpy Tailed Lizard 2
- Western Grey Kangaroo 1
The magpies have such a high count probably due to the young having recently fledged and not being able to fly out of the way of traffic as quickly, or perhaps not being as traffic savvy as the adults. Whatever the reason, it is sad to see so many animals dead in a relatively short stretch of highway. The sum total Australia-wide must be staggering.
Naturally these figures are only a very poor estimate of the total deaths. What I couldn’t count were the many others injured and unable to fly but not immediately killed. They would probably crawl or flap to a point away from the road to suffer a lingering, painful death.
It is a sad price to pay for the human impact upon the environment.