Canberra tops the nation for driver collisions with animals
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Canberra tops the nation for driver collisions with animals

Canberra has once again topped the nation for the most car collisions involving animals on the road, new figures show.

Data based on almost 9000 insurance claims to AAMI between March 2017 and March 2018 show Canberra had the highest number of collisions between drivers and animals for the second year in a row.

Kangaroos made up more than 90 per cent of roadkill in Canberra.

Kangaroos made up more than 90 per cent of roadkill in Canberra.Credit: Graham Tidy

The nation's capital was just ahead of nearby Goulburn, which came in second place on the list, followed by Sunbury in Victoria, Cooma in NSW and Dubbo in NSW rounded out the top five.

Other Australian regional centres to make the top 10 included Heathcothe, Seymour and Bendigo in Victoria, a well as Jindabyne and Broken Hill in NSW.

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Kangaroos accounted for 92 per cent of all animal-related collisions in the ACT during the 12-month period.

Wombats made up 2 per cent, dogs 1 per cent, and deer, foxes, wallabies and horses were also included in the data for the capital.

At a national level, kangaroos still made up more than four in five collisions, followed by wallabies on 5 per cent, wombats with 3 per cent, dogs on 2 per cent and deer at just more than 1 per cent.

The data listed Civic the top suburb in the ACT for crashes,  with Hume recording the second most, followed by Kambah, Belconnen and Tharwa. 

The Monaro Highway was one of the main spots for roadkill in the ACT.

The Monaro Highway was one of the main spots for roadkill in the ACT.Credit:Jay Cronan

The figures also showed that August was the worst time of year for collisions with animals in the ACT, with July recording the most nationally.

ACT Wildlife vice-president Martin Lind said the fact Canberra came out on top in the data was not surprising, given the amount of roadkill on local roads.

"One of the biggest reasons for the number of animal collisions in Canberra is fragmented bushland," he said.

"We have islands of bushland like Canberra Nature Park that are surrounded by major arterial roads with speeds of 80km/h.

"We see a lot of collisions around the Monaro Highway and Drakeford Drive as well as Ginninderra Drive."

The vice-president said the majority of animal collisions take place in Canberra during August due to shorter daylight hours.

"In winter, people are driving home at dusk, so there's a lot more commuter traffic around dusk," he said.

"The number of incidents also depends on if we're in a drought cycle. Kangaroos will come into suburban areas to feed because grass is being watered there and there's more food for them in the suburbs."

In the past year ACT Wildlife has received a surge of calls from Canberrans about animals hit on the road.

Mr Lind expected that number to increase in coming years.

"We fielded 9000 calls in the past 12 months. We initially estimated that by 2020 we would be receiving 6000 calls per year, so we've already overshot that mark," he said.

ACT Wildlife president Marg Peachey said in the event a driver hits an animal on the road, there were a couple of steps they could take.

"It's a good idea to keep a spare blanket or box in the car in case you encounter an orphaned joey or injured bird," she said.

"Keeping the animal warm, but not hot, can reduce stress and shock to the animal.

"If possible, take the animal to a wildlife carer, but in all cases, if you are unsure of what to do, give us a call for advice."

If you see an injured native animal, call ACT Wildlife on 0432 300 033 or Access Canberra on 13 22 81 for injured kangaroos.

Andrew Brown is a journalist at the Sunday Canberra Times. Andrew has worked at the Canberra Times since 2016.

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