The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program Roadkill Project was launched in 2009 with the aim of collecting information about devil roadkill around the State. With roadkill being the second biggest threat to the survival of wild devil populations after Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), it is vital that STDP understand where and when devils are being hit in order to develop mitigation strategies to reduce the number of devils being killed on the road.
Since the Project started, we have received reports of over 3500 road-killed devils – more than 350 devils every year.
Tasmanian devils are particularly vulnerable to vehicle strike because they use roads as a source of food (other roadkill) and as an easy way of moving through the landscape. Also, being black, devils are particularly hard to see at night. Most roadkill occurs between late spring and summer when the devil population swells as dispersing juvenile devils are moving around the landscape seeking their own home ranges. This means more devils are on the roads during the peak Tasmanian holiday season.
Roadkill Tasmanian devil
How your information can help
By letting STDP know if you see a roadkill devil, you can help us to:
- determine target areas for mitigation
- monitor the spread of DFTD across the State, and
- determine the presence of devils in areas heavily impacted by DFTD
Using information gathered from public reports, the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) in collaboration with local councils, businesses and Department of State Growth have begun installing ‘virtual fences’ in roadkill hotspots.
are an active electronic protection system that warns animals that a vehicle is on a road. The devices are activated by approaching headlights, which causes them to emit sound and light stimuli and alert animals to oncoming traffic.
Virtual fence device being installed
The information we receive from the public helps us work out where these devices should be installed to have the biggest impact on reducing devil roadkill.
These virtual fence devices are a key part of the STDP’s roadkill-mitigation strategy and have proven to be successful with a substantial reduction in the number of road-killed animals in areas where they have been deployed. You can help reduce the number of Tasmanian devils dying on our roads by:
- Taking care while driving at night.
- Slowing down between dusk and dawn – and letting other people know they should do the same.
- Report sightings of road-killed Tasmanian devils (including location details and a photo if possible) via the
Native animal warning sign
But remember, safety first!
- NEVER put yourself in danger
- DO NOT stop unless it is safe to do so
- and NEVER handle a Tasmanian devil.