INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR ECOLOGICAL TRANSPORTATION (ICOET)

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Wendy recently returned from her trip to the States where she represented South Africa at the ICOET in Scottsdale, Arizona. She had the opportunity to network with many experts already working in the field, and has made some useful contacts who are all keen to explore collaborative projects with the EWT. Eugene Murray, the organiser of ICOET said, ‘this is the first time we have had a representative from South Africa, and even had to go out and buy a flag especially”.

Wendy presented a poster at the conference which highlighted the work done so far by the Wildlife and Transport Programme. She also had the opportunity to visit examples of effective mitigation sites already in operation. “The main form of roadkill mitigation practiced in the States is fencing, which seems to be extremely effective at preventing wildlife from crossing roads. In addition, there are a number of wildlife crossing structures that provide connectivity between wildlife populations. It is unlikely that this strategy will be effective in South Africa,” says Wendy, “since we already incorporate fencing by roadsides, and our wildlife is often bigger, and able to by-pass a lot of fences. However, the use of funnel-fencing and existing road structures, such as culverts, may prove to be effective with smaller species.”

The next ICOET is in 2015, although we also hope to present our work at next year’s “Infa Eco Network Europe (IENE; the European conference for ecological transportation) in Sweden.

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About wendy collinson

Originally hailing from the UK, Wendy gained her Bachelor of Education in 1990, and spent 15 years teaching Physical Education in London to high school students. She moved to South Africa in 2005, beginning work as a research assistant with large carnivores, working on research projects initiated by the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Wendy’s education background has stood her in good stead as a tour guide, since she believes in an interactive approach, engaging guests in specialist carnivore research tours. In addition to her research and tours, Wendy is also the main organiser of the aptly named “BIKE4BEASTS” mountain bike race, organised annually to raise funds for the Endangered Wildlife Trust (www.bike4beast.coza) Wendy is a field worker with the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife and Transport Programme. She recently completed her Master’s degree at Rhodes University, Grahamstown South Africa, which examined the impacts of roads on South African wildlife.
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