The City of Greater Geraldton, with assistance from State Natural Resource Management (NRM) Community Grants funding, is taking action to control the rabbit population in the Chapman River Wildlife Corridor to protect flora special to the park.
Landholders nearby and visitors to the area should be aware that from February, the City of Greater Geraldton will conduct a two month comprehensive baiting program to reduce the rabbit population.
Bronte Grant, Sustainability Officer with the City said that residents enjoying the Wildlife Corridor recreation areas have expressed concern that rabbit numbers this season appear higher than those observed in recent years.
“Rabbits are impacting on biodiversity in the Chapman River Wildlife Corridor, which is one of the few remaining quality stands of remnant vegetation in this area,” she said.
“Rabbits are also a costly issue for landholders trying to establish a garden and for the City’s planting and rehabilitation programs in the park.”
Signage and advertising will alert residents and visitors that baiting is in progress.
“It is the responsibility of landholders and visitors to manage their pets carefully while the signage is present,” she said.
The baiting product, Pindone, will be mixed with oats by the licenced contractor. Pindone is an anticoagulant poison similar to that found in many rat and rodent control baits. It poses a lower risk to humans and pets than the bait used in broad acre rabbit control. There is also an antidote available from veterinarians should there be a concern about pets.
The Shire of Chapman Valley will contribute by providing 80 rabbit bait stations based on a design by the Department of Agriculture and Food that aim to protect non-target animals yet remain effective against rabbits.
“The bait will only be put out at night when rabbits are most active. This measure, combined with the use of a covered bait station, will reduce the risk to non-target species such as native fauna and pets,” she said.
Adjacent landholders should bury any rabbit carcasses that they find on their properties. This will further assist in reducing the risk to non-target species that may consume dead rabbits.
For further information on regional rabbit baiting or feral animal control initiatives landholders can contract Bronte Grant on firstname.lastname@example.org or 9965 6780. Read about the severe damage rabbits can cause from here: http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/european-wild-rabbit-oryctolagus-cuniculus.