The European Rabbit, one of Australia’s major pests, has increased in numbers over the last few years due a reduction in the effectiveness of bio-controls and favourable conditions.
The rabbit has caused serious environmental and agricultural losses with damage to the agricultural industry estimated to be more than $200 million a year.
Just one rabbit per hectare can stop the successful regeneration of native vegetation, which also affects biodiversity. As well as destroying pasture, crops and other plants, rabbits contribute to soil erosion and compete with native animals for food and habitat.
Due to the serious threat to agriculture and the natural environment, it is now a legal requirement for all land holders to control rabbits.
According to the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, land holders should “take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of, and as far as possible eradicate, established pest animals from their land.”
With the warmer months now here, there’s an opportunity for land holders to once again implement their rabbit control programs.
- Hot days force more rabbits underground, allowing land holders to use a number of control methods to target rabbits above and below ground. This improves the rate of success for rabbit control.
- Surrounding land holders are encouraged to work together as this also improves the success of rabbit control.
- The best control techniques vary depending on the type of vegetation, soil, steepness of the land, rabbit numbers and programs already in the local area.
- Your local Landcare group
- Department of Environment, Land and Water Planning (DELWP)
- PestSmart Toolkit