Mandurah has been named number four in Western Australia’s hotspots for animal road collisions, based on data collected by AAMI.
Examination of almost 20,000 claims reported in 2015 showed animal collisions peak in the period between June and August, and surge in July, with a 68 per cent jump in collisions reported to AAMI in winter compared to summer months.
The Mandurah Wildlife Rescue has even come to call it “pinkie season”, due to the prevalence of premature infant kangaroos that come in, rescued from their dead mother’s pouches.
“The number one reason we get injured animals in to the rescue centre is because of road injury,” Mandurah Wildlife Rescue founder Dot Terry-Bos said.
According to AAMI’s claims data, nine in ten Australian drivers who have collided with an animal hit a kangaroo.
Other animals reported included wallabies, wombats and dogs.
Ms Terry-Bos, on the other hand, said at the rescue centre collisions affected all kinds of animals, from small reptiles and birds to possums and larger mammals like kangaroos, across the entire Peel region.
Of course, it is more likely for a driver to report a collision with a large, well-known mammal in an insurance claim: they may not notice or be able to identify smaller or less common animals.
Ms Terry-Bos said the situation was only getting worse, as more developments emerge and habitats become increasingly fragmented.
“The animals are having to go further to find food and water,” she said.
“I don’t know if there’s much we can do to stop the collisions, except for people to slow down and pay attention when driving.”
“Colliding with an animal is a frightening and traumatic experience, especially if the animal is injured or killed, and can result in series damage or injury,” AAMI spokesperson Michael Mills said.
“Shorter days during winter mean we’re on the roads more at times when animals are on the move, and combined with poor weather conditions and reduced visibility, make the chances of hitting an animal more likely.”
AAMI’s claims data showed the majority of animal related crashes happened towards the end of the week with Friday being the worst day for animal collisions.
Ms Terry-Bos urged drivers to stop if they hit an animal, and check its condition.
“Please let us know so we can come out to put it out of its misery if we need to, or if it’s injured we can care for it. If it’s dead we can also check for young and make sure we take care of them,” she said.
Mandurah Wildlife Rescue can be contacted at 9582 3938.