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.