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Wildlife rehabilitator Racheal Kimber with Buddy (hiding) and Darcie, two kangaroos whose mothers were hit by cars on Midland Road. Picture: LOUISE CARABOTT

Developer responds to kangaroo deaths

IN response to public concern Bushmead developer Cedar Woods says its working with the Department of Conservation and the City of Swan to aid kangaroo crossing and risk to motorists in the streets bordering the new estate. 

Helena Valley resident and vet nurse Francesca Adams contacted the developer after attending to multiple dead and injured kangaroos on Midland and Helena Valley roads in the past several months.

“I’m stopping most days,” she said.

“I would say there are six to 12 kangaroos on the side of the road each week.”

Last week she found a joey inside the pouch of its mother who was alive but with both legs broken.

“It’s distressing for people and terrible for the kangaroos.

“The mum I had last week was in so much pain and distress and then I realised she had a joey.

“I hope they (Cedar Woods) would have a good think about this.

“It’s not going to change, it’s only going to get worst.”

Cedar Woods state manager Ben Rosser said they were conscious of the community concern about kangaroos being hit by cars and the safety of local roads surrounding Bushmead. 

“We are working with both the City of Swan and Main Roads WA to review the speed limit of Midland Road as well as increasing kangaroo warning signs,” he said.

“We have also been reviewing the fences which separate our landholding to that owned by LandCorp to ensure kangaroos can move from the LandCorp site (adjacent to Midland Road) to Bushmead, reducing the risk of them trying to cross Midland Rd.”

Ms Adams said a speed reduction would aid the situation but the placement of warning signs and wildlife helpline information would provide a small but immediate step forward.

Perth Wildlife Rescue Network founder and registered wildlife rehabilitator Racheal Kimber is currently caring for three joeys picked up from Midland Rd, one also plucked from its mother’s pouch.

“At one point I was getting three calls a week to get out there and assess kangaroos to see if they’re okay,” she said.

She said the City of Swan needed a policy change to give more consideration to native wildlife.

 “If we’re going to build in kangaroo habitat, you need to get all the wildlife out or have a corridor,” Ms Kimber said.

“It comes down to the City changing policy to accommodate larger wildlife.”

City of Swan chief executive officer Mike Foley said the development site was subject to conditions set by the Western Australian Planning Commission outlining requirements for a conservation masterplan and management plan.

However, the masterplan and conservation management plan relates to construction and dieback management, vegetation protection, revegetation and weed management for areas of the estate that will be returned to the DBCA when the development is completed.  

A DBCA spokesperson said the department received one report from a member of the public concerning kangaroos being hit by cars. 

“In response to this, the department liaised with the developer and the City of Swan to improve signage in the area,” she said.

“It is the developer’s responsibility to manage native animals on its land. 

“The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions provides advice and licences to landowners to help them manage kangaroos on their land. 

“DBCA will continue to provide appropriate wildlife management advice to land managers as required.”

The Wildcare Helpline provides a service for the public who find sick or injured native wildlife and are seeking advice on where to find care for animals on 9474 9055.

By Claire Ottaviano

 

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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