Wildlife Friendly Fences
Fences can pose a significant barrier for many wildlife species. Barbed wire fences in particular have the potential for species such as gliders and bats to get caught on the barbs. In most cases they are unable to free themselves and eventually die.
In urban backyards, solid timber and metal fences are often impenetrable to many mammal species. While this type of exclusion fencing can be beneficial in preventing wildlife from entering a backyard that may have dog, pool or other potential danger, it unfortunately can be detrimental to wildlife such as koalas and possums that may access or fall into your backyard from overhanging trees and then cannot climb the fence to get back out.
Many koalas are killed or mauled by dogs when they become trapped in backyards. Pool fencing will allow smaller wildlife species to fit through the gaps, however larger species such as koalas don't fit through the gaps and are unable to grip onto these fences to climb over.
Tips for wildlife friendly fencesSome actions you can take to assist wildlife trying to move between urban backyards when looking for food and shelter include:
- Provide a secured pole from the ground to the top of your fence to act as a ladder and allow wildlife to climb up the fence
- Provide a wider top rail to allow wildlife move across the top of the fence
- Plant trees or large shrubs against the fence to provide protection and climbing opportunities for wildlife to safely use your backyard
- Plant trees and shrubs where they will connect with adjacent or neighbouring vegetation to provide a larger area
- Leave a gap at the corners of your fence
- Leave at least a 50cm gap under your fence
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Useful Tips and Facts
- Create urban wildlife corridors and stepping stones to larger local bushland or parkland areas.
- In nature there is no such thing as waste everything is linked and contributes to the cycle. As a plant reaches the end of its life cycle it is not discarded by nature, instead it provides habitat for animals and food for micro-organisms as it lies on the ground, the waste from the micro-organisms, bacteria and fungi feeding on it replace nutrients and organic material to the soil for new plants to grow.
- Plant local native species
- The best way to attract native wildlife to your backyard is to provide a variety of healthy natural foods in the form of seeds, leaves, flowers, nectar, pollen, fruits and nuts throughout the year.
- The use of pesticides and herbicides can damage your soils and kill non target species. The poisoning of insects with chemicals can also cause larger species relying on those insects as a food source to become sick or even die from eating poisoned insects.
- To create habitat for smaller native birds you can grow shrubs close together to create dense corners or pockets in your garden which will provide protection and refuge from larger aggressive birds such as noisy miners
- Wattles (Acacias). While most wattles only live between 6 - 10 years, they are an important pioneer species which colonise disturbed areas, where other plants find it hard to grow. They improve soil conditions enough to allow other species to germinate and thrive by fixing nitrogen into the soil through their roots and adding high levels of organic leaf litter.