Boundary that stretches for 3,500 miles across south-east Australia
The longest fence stretching over 5600 kilometers was originally constructed in 1880s to deter the spread of rabbits, then it was renovated in 1900s to keep the Dingoes out so that they can protect the Australian sheep. Dingoes are the type of feral dogs thriving in the wild, native to Australia. Despite these dogs being illegal to keep, there are some who do so anyway. There are several other Australian names for dingoes, including Mirigung, Joogong, Boolomo, Noggum, Papa-Inura, Wantibirri, Maliki, Kal, Dwer-da, Kurpany, Repeti, etcetra. These dogs were shy to humans but extremely wild to animals which are smaller in size, to protect such animals in the south-east Australia this fence was built.
The most effective way of preventing dingoes from killing sheep in south-eastern Australia was to stop them from entering the area. The fence is about 2 meters high and extends about 30 cm underground to keep the dingo from digging under it.Although the fence has helped in reducing losses of sheep to predators, some dingoes have managed to slip through holes and have become a danger to local livestock.
Parts of the Dingo Fence are lit all night by 86 mm (3.4 in) cold cathode fluorescent lamps which are red and white alternately. These lamps are powered by long life batteries which are charged by photovoltaic cells during the day. At minor and farm crossings, a series of gates allow vehicles to pass through the fence. Where the fence intersects major roads and highways, cattle grids are used to allow high-speed vehicles through.
Moreover the south-eastern border of the fence is blocked off from the wild dingoes, there targets such as rabbits, kangaroos, and emus have seen increased numbers, leading to overgrazing on the sheep’s pasture and disturbing the ecological balance. Furthermore to these problems, the fence hasn’t been entirely efficient at prohibiting dingoes in the first place, holes in the cable mesh have allowed a sizable amount of the predators to slip through each year. The sheep may be safer, but the Dingo Fence reminds us that the long term consequences of manipulating the environment can sometimes be dog gone unpredictable.
Boundary Map showing the world’s longest fence runs to keep dingoes out of the south-east Australia.
Although the fence has been useful in reducing sheep loss to predators, the prohibition of dingoes has allowed for increased pasture competition from rabbits, kangaroos and emus. Sheep are disappearing to increasing numbers of feral dogs. Currently, the rate at which feral camel are smashing down parts of the fence is fast increasing in Southern Australia. Plans for restructuring the Dog Fence to be taller and electric are in the works.