In June this year Young District Landcare teamed up with WIRES Weddin-Lachlan Branch to remove barbed wire from internal fences on a Young property.
The landholder is a member of Young District Landcare and WIRES Weddin-Lachlan Branch who specialises in the care of gliders and possums.
When an animal’s tail found hanging from a barbed wire fence on the property was later confirmed to be that of a Squirrel Glider, a nocturnal gliding possum listed as Vulnerable under the NSW Threatened Species Act, the landholder set up an infrared camera to see if other Squirrel Gliders were present. Once this was confirmed the landholder decided to improve the habitat for them by planting wattles and eucalypts and removing the barbed wire to prevent others getting caught.
So a Barb Busters working bee was organised and over three kilometres of barbed wire was removed from all internal fences within a few hours by a team of enthusiastic volunteers.
Each year thousands of native animals from more than 75 wildlife species, face death or injury from entanglement on 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.
Nocturnal birds such as the insectivorous Tawny Frogmouth, as well as owls (some of which are listed as Threatened Species) are particularly vulnerable.