Ocean Grove wildlife carer leads campaign for duck warning signs
OCEAN Grove’s Layla Moody is leading a campaign to get duck warning signs installed on Grubb Road.
Ms Moody, a vet nurse who runs her own wildlife shelter from home, has contacted VicRoads with her concerns about an increasing number of ducks who live on the lake crossing the road in search of food and breeding.
“At first I saw a duck flattened on the road… living here in Oakdene I’m on Grubb Road a lot, but I always see ducks either side of the road and I think that’s a bit sad.
“And then literally I had one (duck) come into care after being hit by a car on Grubb Road, and since then I’ve seen several ducks on the road with their ducklings.”
She said VicRoads told her that they would not install signs because ducks were not causing a “human hazard”.
“I think this is ridiculous as they shouldn’t be waiting for someone to crash, or get killed before it becomes a human hazard.
“We are the ones building the estates and pushing them out of their homes, we are filling in their lakes, and this means they will be moving onto the roads more often, and that’s why we are seeing it more now.
“We need to adapt to it and make people aware, and if people are aware and looking, there is less chance of an animal getting killed and accidents happening.
“And the more protection we have out there for these guys, the less chance they will need to come into care.”
Ms Moody said she would like to see duck warning signs installed at the start of Grubb Road, when motorists came off the roundabout from Bellarine Highway, and also at the other end, just passed the roundabout near The Mex.
“Even if it’s just a wildlife sign, at least people will be aware of it then… at the moment, people are just whizzing up Grubb Road.”
Regional Roads Victoria Regional Director (South West) Emma Miller-Olsen said making sure roads were safe for everyone was something it took seriously – that included looking out for local wildlife.
“In some cases warning signage can work well but we know driver behaviour and education are also important to help increase safety on our roads,” Ms Miller-Olsen said.
“We will continue to monitor wildlife activity to determine if additional signage is appropriate.
“In the meantime spring is here, so it’s a timely reminder for drivers to take care – be aware of native animals that may be on the move at any time of day, slow down and keep plenty of space between you and the car in front.”
Ms Moody said she is presently caring for nine ducks, a tawny frogmouth, sparrow hawk, two ringtail possum joeys, squirrel glider, plus her own pet cat and frogs.
“I also often get penguins, which is why my lawn is destroyed… we had them over winter and with all the rain and their flat feet, they killed my grass!
“I get quite a lot of penguins because we are on the coast, and most penguins we get are from Phillip Island.”
If you would like to support wildlife warning signs being installed on Grubb Road, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the reference no: 501628717.