Welcome to Payton’s Wildlife Tips! Today I’ll be talking about why barbed wire and other wildlife unfriendly fencing is so dangerous, and how you can make your area safe for all.
Humans are protective of our properties and often have domestic animals to contain. A common sight around Central Oregon is old barbed wire fencing, no longer in use for livestock. What you may not know is that unsafe fencing has caused thousands of animals to suffer injuries or a tragic death.
Barbed wire fences especially cause animals to get entangled and suffer severe injuries often leading to euthanasia. Other unfriendly fencing is too high, sharp, hard to see, and is a solid barrier can cause separation from a herd, injury, decreased food and water sources, and leaves some animals stranded with no places to hide from predators. Juvenile deer are affected greatly by this and are likely to die because fences are too high which leads to injury or being stranded with no way to survive.
Nocturnal animals are also at high risk to be injured by fencing because at night they simply can not see it and become entangled. Most animals rescued from fencing are too severely damaged to return to the wild.
You prevent these awful things from happening in your area by having fencing that:
-is visible (you can add consistent flags or markers to increase visibility)
-allows wildlife to be able to go over fences (fences shorter than 40 inches are best)
-allows wildlife to go under
-allows wildlife to have access to habitats and migration routes
-has no loose, sharp wires or barbed wiring
-or...fencing that doesn't exist at all! no fence at all
An important reminder is if your fence is on a slope it will be more difficult for wildlife to cross. Also keep in mind to only fence what you need. If your fencing a large area of land that has a lot of empty space and it only has small things you want to keep safe (such as a garden) you’re making it harder for wildlife to find homes and have access to resources. Instead just fence around your garden, or a smaller area for domestic animals, not the whole property.
If you have barbed wire or other hazardous fencing around you, there are resources on the thinkwildco.org website that you can call that will remove it for no cost. If you want to help with this issue happening around your area, you can always volunteer to help and spread the word to others. Small things like fencing to us can make a huge impact on our wildlife neighbors.
If you have an injured, sick, or orphaned animal or just need professional advise, call the Think Wild Hotline at 541-241-8680.
Thank you for reading Payton’s Wildlife Tips and be looking forward to the next! For more topics and information go to ThinkWildco.org.
References (or for more information):
Payton is a true wildlife lover, and is volunteering her time to help spread the education message about the small and easy things we can do everyday to help wildlife.