We can’t imagine a landscape without fences. We need fences to mark boundaries, contain livestock, and protect resources. At the same time, fences can pose a threat to the wildlife who share the landscape. It is estimated that there is 1 death per 2.5 miles of fence due to entanglement annually. Entanglement isn’t just bad for the animal, but it makes more work for the landowner too.
It’s not just entanglement that poses a threat to wildlife- if a mother can jump a fence but her young cannot crawl under, the young may be abandoned and die. Fence crossings are yet another stress for wildlife that can increase mortality. By considering wildlife in fence design, we can reduce these impacts while still achieving the fence’s original purpose- whether that be marking a boundary or containing livestock.