Jacqueline Marlow

Jacqueline Marlow

Abstract | Effective community action

What was the problem / situation?

The Northern Beaches of Sydney is very unique -it has large tracts of bushland surrounded by dense housing. This bushland is bisected by four major arterial roads. Housing and associated infrastructure are increasing enormously in the Northern Beaches with a concomitant increase in vehicle traffic 24 hours a day. Development of the area is predicted to increase with the addition of 15,000 extra houses and infrastructure In 2001 a significant roadkill problem became apparent in the Northern beaches. Swamp wallaby roadkill was obvious as these are easily seen from a moving vehicle. However, not only were common species being killed but also threatened species.

What worked?

We initiated the Northern Beaches Roadkill Prevention Committee to tackle the problem through education, exclusion fencing and working collaboratively with local and state government members. We also set up a phone app linked to a database to record roadkill The database includes photos, date, species, age and GPS. The data from this roadkill database has been used by the RMS in the proposed upgrade of Mona Vale Road What didn't work? Convincing some significant sections of the RMS, state government members, local counsellors and the public that connectivity of bushland across major arterial roads is a serious issue.

What lessons can be applied beyond your project, region or study species?

What we learnt could be applied to any peri-urban region in Australia to mitigate roadkill and to increase connectivity of bushland areas.

What would you do differently next time?

To maximise a community group’s long term effectiveness it is just as important that the group works in harmonious and collaborative ways as it is to develop effective roadkill mitigation measures.

Bio | Jacqueline Marlow

Jacqui has been working on preserving bushland, increasing connectivity and preventing roadkill on the major arterial roads of the Northern Beaches of Sydney since 2001. In 2005 she set up an effective community group that records roadkill on a purpose designed phone app. The resulting long-term records of roadkill on the Northern Beaches of Sydney have been used by the RMS in planning roadkill mitigation for the future upgrade of Mona Vale Road. She holds a Batchelor of Science from Sydney University and is a member of numerous scientific organisations such as the Mammal Society of Australia She is also the author of peer-reviewed articles on roadkill.