Environment Daylight saving could help koala conservation

Daylight saving could help koala conservation

Adopting daylight savings in South-East Queensland would decrease car collisions with koalas by eight per cent on weekdays and 11 per cent on weekends, new research suggests.

The study, led by the University of Queensland researchers, tracked wild koalas in South-East Queensland and compared their movements with traffic patterns along roads where they were often killed.

UQ School of Biological Sciences researcher Associate Professor Robbie Wilson said the study found that introducing daylight saving time in the region would save the lives of many nocturnal animals, including kangaroos, wallabies and koalas.

“Collisions with wildlife are most likely to occur during twilight or darkness,” Dr Wilson said.

“Daylight saving time could reduce collisions with nocturnal wildlife (animals that are active at night) because it would still be light when commuters drive home,” he said.

Koala numbers have declined in the Brisbane region by 80 per cent in the past 20 years, due to cars, dogs and disease.

“If we can reduce the number of animals hit on the roads by making a simple change like this, then conservation and road safety should become part of the debate on daylight saving,” he said.

Researchers from UQ, Central Queensland University, Kyoto University, Griffith University, Australia Zoo, and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage were involved in the study.

You can ready more about this study here. Story credit: University of Queensland newsroom.

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