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Govt mulls additional measures to protect Upper Rock wildlife

The Gibraltar Government is considering installing speed bumps in certain areas of the Upper Rock to remind drivers to watch out for Gibraltar’s wildlife.

The decision was revealed yesterday after the Chronicle reported on the recent deaths of three baby monkeys who were accidentally crushed by vehicles.

In addition, other wildlife such as baby Barbary Partridges have also been killed by vehicles recently.

In response, the government has sought advice from the Traffic Commission about the possibility of installing speed bumps in the reserve.

The monkey’s deaths have also resulted in the Macaque Management Team calling for people turn off their car engines when they are stationary for any period of time in the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.
They believe the monkeys may have been playing under idling vehicles when they were run over.

The Department of Environment form part of the Macaque Management Team, alongside Dr Eric Shaw, Tess Feeney and her colleagues, GONHS and the Gib Vet Clinic.

“The Department has called for caution on the upper rock for some time,” a spokesman for the department said.

“In 2013 it introduced traffic signs alerting drivers to the presence of wildlife and recently following deaths of partridge chicks it has publicly called for this again.”

“It is pending a reply from the Traffic Commission regarding the placement of speed ramps in certain locations on the Upper Rock although these in themselves will not solve the problem without drivers being careful.”

The Government is aware that road kills in nature reserves where there are public roads are not confined to Gibraltar. However, it still is reiterating the need for all drivers to be cautious.

The monkeys that died included one of two twins born this year. Macaque twins are extremely rare.

“All road kills are regretted as an unnecessary loss of our valuable wildlife,” the spokesman said.

“The loss of one of the twins that the Department was, with the rest of the macaque team, hoping would survive, has of course been a particularly hard blow to those who work hard protecting our wildlife.”

The Macaque Management Team said that while accidents happen, anyone who hits a macaque or finds an injured macaque must alert the authorities because a fast reaction might save the animal’s life.

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