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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The impacts of roads on Australia's environment
(1.) Cows crossing in front of two roadtrains. The skid marks on the road suggest road accidents involving animals are common.

(2.) A sculpture inviting drivers to avoid livestock on the road.

(3.) A dead kangaroo found on a road in South Australia. Roadtrains hit so many wild animals that they are usually fitted with roo bars made from huge iron girders. Drivers don't always stop for injured animals, and many dead animals are left on the road.

(4.) A highly endangered Acacia cochlocarpa plant can be seen growing on this roadside verge. South-western Australia has been heavily cleared for farming. Despite the high level of land clearance this region is still one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Unfortunately, this rare plant is at risk of being bulldozed in order to protect drivers from animals which sometimes stand on the side of the road. With approximately 100 individuals remaining in existence this plant really needs physical protection. This could involve diverting the road or the erection of a fence.

(5.) Travellers often transfer fruit, and the insects living on them, between states. States with large citrus and wine industries can suffer major losses when introduced agricultural pests, such as fruit flies, are moved between states.