Freycinet National Park provides numerous opportunities for you to have up close encounters with wildlife. This is a rare chance for you to view special creatures such as wallabies, possums, quolls, Tasmanian Devils, echidnas and wombats as they interact naturally in their native habitat. Therefore, it is important that you behave in ways which protect the well-being of these animals. Here are some pointers to help you enjoy Freycinet National Park without disturbing its wildlife.
Feeding and Petting
Whilst it may be tempting to feed and touch animals which come within your reach, doing so may threaten their safety and the delicate balance of Freycinet National Park’s ecosystem. Many animals found near Freycinet Lodge and popular paths have become quite friendly with humans. Even if you do not feed them deliberately, keep your food and rubbish secure so that they do not become scavengers. Here are some reasons why you should observe from a distance.
- It is a privilege to see how these wonderful creatures behave in the wild as opposed to a zoo environment.
- Animals which do not have a healthy fear of humans can be victims of poachers or hunters.
- Animals such as wallabies may develop unnatural behaviours like congregating in groups when they usually forage alone.
- If animals from a particular species become too numerous, this will upset the food chain.
- If too many animals survive during the busy tourist season due to human interference, this will make it difficult in winter when visitor numbers are down and food resources are scarce.
- If animal numbers increase too dramatically, a species may be prone to diseases due to a weaker gene pool and too many animals in close proximity.
As you drive around Tasmania, it is sobering to observe the number of animals which die due to being hit by cars. In some areas, more Tasmanian Devils are actually being killed by cars than the devastating facial tumour disease. Here are ways to make sure that you protect wildlife whilst travelling through Freycinet National Park.
- Drive slowly at night. Tasmanian Devils are short, dark in colouring and therefore difficult to spot. If you are driving faster than 60km/hour, you won’t have time to stop.
- Be particularly careful when you see wildlife warning signs. The driver and all passengers should scan both sides of the road.
- If you do kill an animal, remove it from the road. Other creatures may come to scavenge and they too may be hit by a car.
- If an animal is still alive, and it is safe to do so, wrap it in a towel or blanket to keep it warm and ask your accommodation about local wildlife rescue.
Freycinet National Park has an abundance of wildlife and it has become an important area for the survival of endangered species. By not approaching wildlife and watching from afar, you can play your part in ensuring that these creatures can be enjoyed by future generations.