The wildlife friendly fencing project is raising awareness of the impact of fencing on Australian wildlife, and developing guidelines for good practice. Barbed wire in particular is a major hazard for wildlife. Each year thousands of animals face a cruel death or permanent injury from entanglement on barbs, usually on the top strand. More than 75 wildlife species have been identified in Australia as occasional or regular victims of barbed wire fences, especially nocturnal animals such as bats, gliders and owls. Many fail to see the fence, or cannot clear the height under windy conditions. Most of those rescued are too severely damaged to return to the wild.

There are also other fencing hazards. Kangaroos get hung up in fences that are too high, whether plain or barbed, a situation made worse by the bottom strand of the fence being too low. Wetlands fenced too close to the waterline prevent wetland birds from landing or taking off, especially cranes.

Barbed wire is both an animal welfare and conservation issue. It is recognised as a threatening process in the draft / recovery plans for a number of species. These include the Yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis), the Mahogany glider (Petaurus gracilis), the Spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) and Grey-headed flying fox (Pteropus poliocephalis).

We seek a fundamental change in the approach to fencing, a change that considers the welfare of wildlife in the landscape. The project is looking to establish partnerships with a wide range of organisations to help promote and implement wildlife friendly fencing. These include wildlife rescue groups, natural resource management groups, all levels of government, fencing manufacturers, contractors and suppliers.

There is no ongoing funding to run or coordinate the project. Tolga Bat Hospital was been awarded 2 grants, the first from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Federal Government’s NHT program in 2006, and the second a Community Action Grant from Caring for Our Country in 2010.  We welcome donations to continue this work. All donations are tax deductible.

We need your help

1. Familiarise yourself with the project through this website. Tell others.

  1. 2.Make your fences wildlife friendly and encourage others to do likewise.

  2. 3.Monitor fences in your local area and report any entangled animals in your area to your local wildlife group. You can find them at Contact us if you find species that are not already on our list. Send us photos. 

  3. 4.Give us your ideas on wildlife friendly fencing.

5. Help introduce wildlife friendly fencing into your community through appropriate channels eg Landcare or NRM groups. Please contact us for educational resources.

  1. 6.Support us by making a donation, or purchasing WFF promotional products - tshirts and cat stickers. All donations are tax deductible.

You can contact us by email info(at) or by telephone 07 4091 2683