My close encounter with a roo

COLLISION: An unfortunate accident on the Augusta Highway resulted in significant damage to my vehicle.
COLLISION: An unfortunate accident on the Augusta Highway resulted in significant damage to my vehicle.

Driving back to Whyalla after a weekend in Adelaide, I encountered a sight which is has become all too familiar for motorists on the Augusta Highway.

A kangaroo standing in the middle of the road, leaving little time to avoid it.

The collision resulted in significant damage to my vehicle, which I attempted to guide back to Whyalla with no success, the unfortunate death of a kangaroo and a pricey towing bill.

The car was eventually written off, leaving me without transport for several weeks.

For most country motorists, roos on the highway are a fact of life, and we are repeatedly warned about their presence by road signs on the notorious stretch between Port Augusta and Whyalla.

Now the kangaroo population is set to be surveyed by the Department of Environment and Water via light aircraft, an operation that's been undertaken for the past 43 years.

Department for Environment and Water (DEW) staff will undertake the aerial survey beginning Monday, June 21 and continue until Friday, July 9 to estimate kangaroo populations across the South Australian landscape.

During this time, a Cessna 206 will fly east-west survey transects at a low level across parts of the State.

DEW Senior Kangaroo Ecologist, Dr Amanda McLean, said the aerial survey will include the North Flinders, Marree inside Dog Fence, Marree outside Dog Fence, North East Pastoral, Eastern Districts, South Flinders, Eyre West and Eyre East harvest sub-regions.

"The survey allows the department to determine kangaroo response to the recent drought over the pastoral land as well as in the wetter agricultural areas," she said.

"An additional survey over parts of the recently opened Southern Agricultural Harvest Region is planned for September when the weather is more suitable."

DEW supplements the aerial survey with predictive population models to determine kangaroo harvest quotas for the five harvest regions across the State.

This is the second year that the Southern Agricultural Harvest Region has been opened for commercial kangaroo harvesting with the expansion already considered a success.

"The opening of the Southern Agricultural Harvest Region has been a win-win for both the kangaroo industry, who can now access more land and, landholders in the region, who have been provided with assistance in managing kangaroo numbers on their properties", said Dr McLean.