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Introduction of daylight saving time could save hundreds of koalas every year

Two times a year in many parts of the world there debates take place whether daylight saving time is actually worth the trouble. Some people struggle to adapt to sudden changes and domestic animals face some confusion too. However, University of Queensland-led study revealed that daylight saving time could potentially save lives of hundreds of koalas.

Cars are responsible for killing hundreds of koalas every year, but adoption of daylight saving time could save a significant part of them. Image credit: Erik Veland via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Cars are responsible for killing hundreds of koalas every year, but adoption of daylight saving time could save a significant part of them. Image credit: Erik Veland via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Koala population is being constantly damaged by dog attacks, diseases and cars. It is calculated that around 80 % of Brisbane koala population is lost for these causes. Traffic incidents are one of the big issues that should be addressed immediately. This is where daylight saving time steps in. Scientist conducted a research in order to see how koala deaths on the road occur and how to avoid it. They tracked some wild koalas and compared their movements with daily traffic patterns. Findings revealed that changing these traffic patterns slightly could bring a big difference.

In fact, scientists say that introducing daylight saving time could help avoiding collisions with koalas by 8 % on weekdays and 11 % on weekends. The logic behind it is very simple – people would drive in daylight, while nocturnal animals are mostly not active. This means that kangaroos, wallabies and other nocturnal animals would benefit from such change as well. And, of course, daily commuting would become safer for people as well. However, scientists note that road safety and wildlife conservation efforts are never a part of debate about introduction of daylight saving times.

It is estimated that cars are responsible for hundreds of koala deaths each year. Collisions with some larger animals often result in seriously damaged cars or even injured people. Therefore, conservation and road safety specialists should be included in discussions about possible advantages of daylight saving time. However, scientists note that there may be negative side effects as well. Robbie Wilson, one of the authors of the research, said: “we don’t know the effect daylight saving will have on diurnal animals (those active in the daytime) – such as snakes, lizards and birds – so future research should also incorporate studies of these animals”.

Wildlife preservation efforts are going to waste when cars and animals are still fighting undeclared war. Therefore, it would be good if scientists came up with an easy solution that would not harm commuters, while saving lots of animal lives.

Source: uq.edu.au