Rabbits are like dirty dishes in the sink; if you don’t keep them under control they’ll keep multiplying.
In Eurobodalla Shire, rabbits in our coastal suburbs are a constant source of angst, burying under houses, digging in gardens, eating anything that remotely smells nutritious and ringbarking the rest of your plants.
The good news is that Council’s invasive species staff have been very busy controlling rabbits in a coastal suburb near you. Through summer, rabbit warrens in foreshore dune areas such as those at Tuross Head, Long Beach and South Durras have been located, fumigated and destroyed. In other areas, such as Dalmeny, Kianga and North Narooma, Pindone baiting has been carried out with good results.
Most of this work was carried out to reduce the incidence of Calicivirus-resistant rabbits prior to the release of the new Korean strain of Calicivirus (RHDV-K5). This new strain was released in March 2017 across nearly every suburb in Eurobodalla.
Post-release monitoring showed excellent uptake followed by a respectable decline in rabbit numbers, particularly in those areas that had previously never been exposed to the older virus strain, such as Lilli Pilli and Dalmeny.
Follow up work has been in progress since then, with shooting being the primary method of follow up control. In South Durras, we are hoping for local extinction of rabbits this winter.
Suburbs to be targeted for follow up through winter include Malua Bay and Lilli Pilli, Mossy Point and Broulee, Moruya South Heads, Tuross Head, Dalmeny, Kianga and Narooma. A mix of approaches will be utilised depending on the circumstances.
The Local Lands Services Act requires all land holders in NSW to control rabbits on their properties. If rabbits are on private property please call Local Land Services on 02 6492 1285. If rabbits are on Council land, please call Council's Invasive Species Supervisor on 4474 1269.
Council’s rabbit control schedule can be found at www.esc.nsw.gov.au under Living In, while specific questions or reports of remaining rabbit populations can be directed to Council’s Invasive Species Supervisor on 4474 1269 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Above: Council’s environmental team is busy controlling rabbits in a coastal suburb near you. Prior to fumigation, smoking rabbit warrens to find all entrances is essential.