26 September 2023

Fencing hazard taken from Diamantina

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The Department of Environment and Science has announced that almost 300 kilometres of old barbed-wire fencing has been removed from the Diamantina National Park.

The Department said the fencing had been installed by farmers to manage livestock before the park was purchased by the Government in 1992.

Minister for the Environment, Meaghan Scanlon said rangers and conservation groups had been able to progressively remove the fencing from the former cattle station, which had been posing a threat to low-flying birds, gliders and bats.

“It’s been close to 30 years since the land was transformed into a 507,000-hectare national park and, in that time, we’ve seen many resident and migratory bird species return to the local wetlands, which act as a haven in an otherwise arid region,” Ms Scanlon said.

“Resident birds, such as the critically-endangered night parrot, first spotted in 2016, are famous for flying low and fast and this leaves them very little time to avoid fences.”

She said the initial focus of the project was to remove fencing from areas of known night parrot habitat and likely flyways, with much of the early work being done by hand.

“That was hard, arduous work, so a tailor-made tractor was purchased with a wire winder on the front rolling up the fencing,” Ms Scanlon said.

“With farming now ceased on the site, the fencing was no longer serving a purpose and significant amounts of it had fallen into disrepair.”

Ms Scanlon said removing the fencing played an important role in protecting the local populations of rare species of birds that had been found there since the national park was declared.

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