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Roadkill - Collision of Interests?

Today was the first day we rode for any length of time on a sealed road. We fair flew along compared to our normal pace on dirt corrugations! It felt so good to be averaging 20 kmph – using very little effort – compared to pushing hard for our normal average of around 12 kmph on unsealed roads.


On the other hand it was quite distressing to see so many dead animals on the road. Barely a kilometre would pass before that sickly sweet stench of decomposing flesh would reach our nostrils and we’d pass a rather pathetic bundle of fur, bone and body parts torn apart by the wheels of one of the many vehicles that use this stretch of highway.


So, it begs the question: is the road a positive or a negative thing?

The road has been essential for the economic development of the region over the past 100 years. People’s livelihood depends upon it. And it certainly helped us get to where we needed to go today that much faster.

On the flip side the local flora has been affected quite dramatically in the form of animals (wallabies, toads, lizards, possums etc) feeding on the fresh, green grass growing by the side of the road (see environmental studies update). On a cultural note, the road, along with the railway, also bought settlers into Aboriginal territories, disrupting their lifestyle and in many cases driving them from the land.

Suggested learning activities: debate the pros and cons of sealed roads in your area. What are the advantages and disadvantages? How necessary are roads in sustainable development? What could be done to reduce roadkill (fencing/driver awareness campaigns/reduced speed limits/drainage of rainfall run-off away from edge etc…).



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 8, 2001 4:47 PM.

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