Wildlife caught on fencing

Many native animals become victims of barbed wire entanglement. 

Entanglements usually happen when nocturnal animals don’t see fencing or can't clear the height of the fencing.

Over 75 native wildlife species have been recorded as becoming entangled on barbed wire fencing.

How to help entangled wildlife

If you see an animal entangled on barbed wire fencing you should do the following:

  • report the animal to your local wildlife rescue organisation or Wildlife Operations, Parks and Wildlife
  • if possible, leave the rescue to a wildlife carer or wildlife ranger to reduce the risk of further injury to the animal and to you
  • while waiting for a wildlife carer or wildlife ranger, reduce stress by providing the animal with shade
  • keep people, especially children, and other animals away
  • do not handle bats.

Wildlife friendly fencing

You can do all of the following to reduce the impact of barbed wire fencing on our native wildlife:

  • monitor barbed wire fencing in your area and report any entangled animals to your local wildlife rescue organisation or to Wildlife Operations
  • put bunting on the top wire of barbed wire fencing so it can be seen by animals and help them to avoid it
  • replace the top strand of fence with plain or borderline sighter (white plastic coated) wire
  • avoid using barbed wire
  • consider if a fence is needed and think about other options such as planted barriers
  • avoid erecting fences on ridgelines, near fruiting or flowering trees, across wildlife corridors, over dams or waterways
  • don’t grow fruiting or flowering plants near barbed wire fencing
  • remove and appropriately dispose of redundant barbed wire fencing as soon as possible.


To report an entangled animal or for more information on wildlife friendly fencing, contact Wildlife Operations or a wildlife rescue organisation in your area.

Go to the Wildlife Friendly Fencing website for information to help keep your fences safe for Australian wildlife.


Wildcare Inc.: (08) 8988 6121 or 0408 885 341

Parks and Wildlife, Wildlife Operations Darwin: 0401 115 702


Katherine Wildlife Rescue: 0412 955 336

Parks and Wildlife, Wildlife Operations Katherine: 0419 828 487

Alice Springs

Wildcare Alice Springs: 0419 221 128

Parks and Wildlife, Wildlife Operations Alice Springs: (08) 8951 8290

Last updated: 23 August 2016

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