It has been estimated that tens of millions of kilometres of fences now subdivide the Australian landscape, with sixty five percent of these having barbed wire on the top strand. Each year thousands of native animals face death or injury from entanglement on barbed wire fences. Nobody really knows the extent or how many.
More than 75 wildlife species have been identified in Australia as occasional or regular victims of barbed wire fences. Both mammals (25 species) and birds (50 species) are victims and most are nocturnal. The Squirrel Glider and its smaller cousin the Sugar Glider are particularly vulnerable. Other mammals such as flying-foxes and insectivorous microbats are also common victims, as are the macropods – wallabies and kangaroos, and nocturnal birds such as the insectivorous Tawny Frogmouth, as well as owls (some of which are listed as Threatened Species) are particularly vulnerable.
Barb Busters is a working bee that brings volunteers together to remove barbed wire from internal fences on working properties. The removal of barbed wire, which is sometimes replaced with plain wire is recommended by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to reduce mortality rates of Squirrel Gliders in and adjacent to known habitat.
Removing barbed wire reduces injuries to animals that would otherwise take up resources of WIRES carers. Barb busters is a practical activity that empowers people to make changes that improve wildlife habitat.
If you would like to organise a Barb Busters event on your property, please contact us.