Barbed wire fencing might be an inexpensive way of containing livestock within paddocks or providing security fencing, but the cost to wildlife is high.
There are a number of research articles that have highlighted the issue of wildlife entangled on barbed wire:
- Barbed wire fencing as a hazard for wildlife (PDF 191KB)
- A review of bird deaths on barbed wire fences
- The 'Devil's rope': flying-foxes in barbed wire fences (PDF 264KB)
- Using wildlife carer records to identify patterns in flying-fox rescues: a case study in New South Wales, Australia.
Flying-foxes and other animals caught on barbed wire can suffer terrible injuries. Even when they are rescued from the wire, they may not survive.
Landholders can reduce the chances of wildlife sustaining barbed wire injuries by considering the following options:
- consider whether a fence is required
- choose plain wire fencing instead of barbed wire fencing, where possible
- replace existing barbed wire fencing with plain wire fencing, where possible
- cover barbs where wildlife entanglements occur frequently
- make fencing more visible by attaching strands of tape or other materials.