In the last two decades, the number of wild koalas in Queensland, southeastern Australia has been constantly decreasing. So much so, that almost 80 percent of the koala population is now extinct in the southeast area of Australia. However, scientists came up with a simple way to prevent a potential koala-pocalypse.
The measure refers to the daylight saving time. By changing the time, scientists hope to reduce the number of deadly accidents between motorists and koalas. In their opinion, the number of casualties can be reduced by as much as eleven percent on weekends and eight percent on weekdays. Ultimately, they hope that they could persuade the Queensland officials to reinstall the daylight saving time practice for the sake of the koala population, at least.
However, the Queensland’s policy on the daylight saving time has been on the rocks for quite some time, now. Since March 1st, 1992, the practice has been abolished, after a trial that has lasted for three years came to a drastic resolution. Hence, the push to bring back the practice has spawned countless referendums and petitions. Even a new political party has been founded, namely the Daylight Saving for South-East Queensland.
The authors of the study strongly believe that the daylight saving time would save koalas from being hit by cars at night. Since koalas are nocturnal animals, it is more likely that they will be hit by cars during nighttime while crossing the roads. Accidents can also occur when koalas simply find themselves in the vicinity of heavily circulated routes.
The team of researchers pulled some data on the southeastern Australian traffic and discovered some interesting numbers. Hence, traffic is at its peak mostly between seven a.m. and eight a.m. during weekdays. Also, anywhere between three p.m. and six p.m. is a dangerous time for unattended koalas in the dark near busy roads. This corresponds with commuting periods, in particular. On weekends, motorists roam the streets intensively between 11 a.m. and noon. However, the deadly encounters between commuters and koalas revolved mainly around the first hours of the evening.
The scientists equipped about 25 koalas with tracking collars to determine their location at different hours of the day. Hence, they were able to conclude that koalas were particularly busy during the early periods of the night. However, this does not necessarily apply to other regions of Australia. Mainly because traffic patterns differ or the daylight saving time is in use. As a result, the policymakers urge the Queensland officials to consider the koalas and other wildlife before anything else when contemplating upon the return to daylight saving time in the future.
Image Source: Pixabay
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