Rally had 'minimal' impact on wildlife

Following the environmental protests against last week's Rally Australia, the organisers have revealed the precise cost to the wildlife along the route

Rally had 'minimal' impact on wildlife

Ahead of the event, there had been claims that the World Rally Championship would seriously impact on the koala population and the local flora and fauna. The organisers have catalogued each incident and revealed their findings today.

Dr Stephen Phillips, an environmental scientist with Biolink, said: "For the 344kms of rally activity, we recorded a total of two lizards, four snakes, nine birds and a single mammal, which was much less than expected for this number of competing vehicles."

Phillips went on to explain the process to obtain those figures.

"On the morning of each day of the rally two teams each comprising three ecologists surveyed the entire competition course prior to the running of the first car," he said.

"Accompanied by a team of hard-working volunteer officials we installed a total of more than seven kilometres of temporary animal fencing and placed almost 40 monitors in strategic locations along each stage, while pollution booms and sediment traps were also installed at all key water crossings and streams.

"Special guardians were also placed where koalas were located in trees alongside the road during our pre-rally survey.

"Following the passage of the last car in the rally, the environmental teams again inspected the stage and recorded any injured or killed animals that had not been present in the pre-event inspection. This was one of the most thorough operations that has been undertaken anywhere in the world."

Protestors against the event brought about the cancellation of one stage, which was scheduled to be run twice during the rally. Six protestors were arrested by New South Wales police.

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