Rabbit Control

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Review of Rabbit Control

See more images from the rabbit control workshops on FlickrThe rabbit control projects organised by Royalla Landcare and Carwoola Landcare last year appear to have been successful (see review), with reports from many landholders that the rabbit numbers are well down, and some even finding many carcasses. It was clear that many interested landholders were unwilling or unable to participate in the projects, so Molonglo Catchment Group applied for funding to conduct a further rabbit control project in association with South East Livestock Health & Pest Authority (LHPA) in April and May. The project is supported by the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative and assisted by Landcare Groups at Burra, Captains Flat, Carwoola, Fernleigh Park and Royalla.

Three workshops, attracting landholders from 90 properties in the Molonglo catchment were held to:

  • Increase community awareness of the impact of the extensive invasive rabbit population;
  • Provide community training in techniques to control outbreaks;
  • Ultimately, reduce the rabbit population; and
  • Improve the habitat for native flora and fauna.

Carrots for free-feeding were provided at each of the three workshopsLandholders were free-feeding rabbits for up to two weeks to establish the numbers and the quantity of carrots and calcivirus inoculant required. The release was planned for Sunday, 6 May, however a failed batch at the laboratory producing the RHD virus meant that only a very limited amount was available for release. The response to this limited release was very disappointing and by late spring 2012, it was clear that rabbit numbers were building up again.

In September 2012, it was decided that, as the calicivirus was not as successful as hoped, another method was called for. After considering the type of land-holding, the time of year, and other variables, it was decided that the use of Pindone rabbit poison was the most viable option.

Landholders from 74 properties totalling 3800 hectares attended LHPA-run training and information sessions. 34 of these landholders went on to obtained accreditation in the use of Pindone and 1080 poisons, and of these, 14 applied Pindone on 21 properties totalling 140 hectares during March 2013.

Two successive feeds of baited carrots totalling 100kg each feed (200kg total) were conducted. Landholders reported an average of 23.5 rabbits being regularly seen prior to the baiting, decreasing to an average of 6.2 rabbits being seen after application. Aside from the on-ground effects mentioned, all landholders in the areas of Burra, Carwoola, Queanbeyan and Royalla reported increased awareness of rabbit control methods, and the importance of using several methods concurrently, over a long period of time for effective population minimisation.

Download RHD (calicivirus) info booklet ( 821KB)

Download survey form ( 96KB)

Download RHD Pesticide Control Order 2006 ( 17KB)

Download RHD Bait Label ( 271KB)

Download Indemnity Form for Use of RHD Poisoned Bait ( 110KB)

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Last modified: 27/03/2014