CASUALTIES: Merilyn Spletter of the Ipswich Koala Society says koalas are being hit by careless drivers.
CASUALTIES: Merilyn Spletter of the Ipswich Koala Society says koalas are being hit by careless drivers. Meg Bolton

Koala road kill climbs

DRIVERS on Gatton-Esk Rd are urged to slow down after another two koalas were found dead on the side of the road last week.

It is assumed the koalas were struck by a vehicle as the baby rode on its mum's back.

Ipswich Koala Society vice-president Marilyn Spletter said koalas were dying because people didn't realise how many inhabited the area.

"People don't see the dead ones so they don't think," Mrs Spletter said.

"I've picked up eight koalas (from Gatton-Esk Rd) and only two have survived."

Since 2012, Ipswich Koala Society has tended to 39 koalas that have been hit by vehicles in the Lockyer Valley region.

"People need to slow down, and tell people if they're moving out to the country for a quieter life that there's wildlife out in the country and to slow down when they see wildlife signs," Mrs Spletter said.

While on the road, Mrs Spletter said she was passed by vehicles doing more than 125km/h; a practice she said needed to be stamped out urgently.

Member for Lockyer Jim McDonald agreed more needed to be done on Gatton-Esk Rd to prevent both wildlife and human deaths.

"At present, there is minimal signage along Gatton-Esk Rd making motorists aware of the potential of encountering wildlife along the road," Mr McDonald said.

"We can reduce the risk of wildlife being hit by motorists by urging drivers to slow down and be more cautious, installing more signs and improving the visibility of current signage, particularly at night, and finally by requesting additional police patrols."

A Transport Main Roads representative said it would assess the area to consider if new signs were needed.


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