Pest exclusion fencing is designed to prevent various types of vertebrate pest animals from contributing to the loss and decline of native species, particularly plant species, in a given region. A 'vertebrate' animal is an animal with a backbone, such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. In Australia, some of the most common vertebrate pests include:
Every year, federal and state governments contribute significant funding towards controlling the spread of these pests and protect areas of high conservation value. Aside from pest exclusion fencing, some of the other control strategies used include
However, pest exclusion fencing, which is used to create "islands" of flora and fauna protection, is considered the most humane way of controlling vertebrate pests.
Some of the disadvantages of pest exclusion fencing include:
When to use pest exclusion fencing?
When deciding whether or not pest exclusion fencing should be used to protect areas of high conservation value, authorities must establish whether it is necessary and capable of achieving desired outcomes. While breaches are to be expected, often these are considered infrequent enough not to compromise the efficacy of the fence. Sometimes, electric wires are used to make the fence more effective, while other control strategies, such as those listed earlier, are used in tandem with pest exclusion fencing to decrease the number of challenges to the fence in the first place.
Due to Australia's relatively flat terrain and sparse vegetation which is spread across much of the country, pest exclusion fencing has always been widely used here, and some of the most famous pest exclusion fences in the world have existed on Australian soil.
Some of the most famous pest exclusion fences in Australia and New Zealand include: