Slow down for ducks’ sake

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - War­ren Hately

Wall­cliffe Road res­i­dent Belinda Palmer has made her own signs to alert mo­torists to na­tive ducks cross­ing busy roads af­ter nu­mer­ous re­ports of duck­lings killed by inat­ten­tive driv­ers.

Spurred on by her good cit­i­zen­ship, the Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River will come to the party next year with por­ta­ble signs in trou­ble spots.

Ms Palmer said she was dis­traught to see the hard­ships of ducks and their off­spring cross­ing Wall­cliffe Road in the heart of Mar­garet River and knew other cross­ings were just as dan­ger­ous.

Her ac­tivism was un­der­scored by so­cial me­dia re­ports of more duck­lings killed this week.

“There are quite a few peo­ple want­ing to see the tem­po­rary signs — not per­ma­nent, as of course they lose their mean­ing if there are not ac­tu­ally duck­lings around — put in places where they are cross­ing roads dur­ing breed­ing sea­son,” she told the Times.

Also in­volved was Mar­garet River cel­e­brant Joanne Arm­strong, who said it was a “mas­sive is­sue” for an­i­mal wel­fare groups like Fos­ter­ing and As­sis­tance for Wildlife Need­ing Aid.

“Be­cause I am car­ing for two birds at the mo­ment, it made sense to ac­tu­ally do some­thing about it,” she said. “We also want to try to en­cour­age the (Shire) to erect a cou­ple more signs about town to alert tourists of this.”

Res­i­dent Jes­sica Tait recorded more duck­lings killed in the same lo­ca­tion as the tem­po­rary signs, which were re­moved by Shire of­fi­cers. Shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Ever­shed said he had lis­tened to “great sug­ges­tions from the com­mu­nity”.

“From next year, we will be erect­ing tem­po­rary A-frame sig­nage at the key lo­ca­tions,” he said.

“This is done at other lo­cal gov­ern­ments where there are sim­i­lar com­mu­nity con­cerns.”

He said con­cerns about wildlife could be re­ported to the Depart­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity, Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions’ Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice on 9474 9055.

Joanne Arm­strong and Belinda Palmer are ask­ing mo­torists to slow down for na­tive wildlife.

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