Brolgas beside net-and-barbed-wire sheep fence on a roadside near Eulo, W Qld (courtesy Glen Fergus - see Sidebar for Licence). Fences like these can cause problems for Brolgas and Sarus Cranes, especially around wetlands.
Brolgas and Sarus Cranes feed and nest successfully on many farms, pastoral properties and nature reserves, if the birds have feeding areas and nearby healthy wetlands to drink, bathe and roost every day. With rural lands, come fences. Ozcranes is grateful for feedback from many people and from two NRM groups, who helped develop these guidelines as part of the 2005-2010 plan process.
Brolga foraging near netting fence, SW Victoria Australia → (Inka Veltheim)
Most fences are needed for production (stock or feral animal control), but in recent years Landcare and government environment incentives have encouraged – or even mandated – extra fencing to exclude stock from wetlands. This might not be good news for cranes. Fences in the wrong place can exclude cranes too! – and barbed wire can trap them as they try to fly in or out. Rank growth after cattle are removed keeps cranes away, as well.
Ozcranes supports –
- Safer fencing methods that work for wildlife and stock
- Wetland protection without damage to crane habitat
- Mandated safe fencing for all Landcare and similar public-funded projects
- Efforts by organisations and manufacturers to redesign or develop safer fencing products that are cost-effective for landowners
Ozcranes Fencing Resources
Crane lifestyles and how cranes can be put at risk, if their breeding and roost wetlands are fenced: entrapment on fences, movement restrictions and rank dense growth.
The Decision Guide has checklists of questions. With local knowledge, the checklists can be used to factor cranes into fencing decisions, and learn which wetlands can safely be fenced with the ‘right’ methods for livestock, wetland health and cranes.
Electric fence on dam, SE Australia (cranesnorth). The fence keeps Angus cattle out of the dam and Eastern Grey Kangaroos can pass under or over →
Experienced agricultural advisers, farmers and wildlife carers offer tips or suggestions for effective fencing methods, to minimise wildlife damage and avoid ‘cage’ or barrier effects on wildlife movement.
Grazing and fencing feedback, comments and ideas.
Rank vegetation in the Wet and Wet-Dry Tropics can be managed by fire, grazing, chemical or mechanical means, but High Tensile wire (including barb) is at risk from fire. Check out the Kimberley design for a crane-friendly, fire-resistant, no-barb electric cattle fence.
Useful articles and links for crane-friendly fencing.
Comments and suggestions on Crane-friendly Fencing are welcome, contact details here».