Rabbit control made easy
Spring rains and milder summer weather have seen feral rabbit populations escalate across the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula in recent months. The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board is encouraging landholders work with their neighbours to undertake a targeted control program, and is hosting a rabbit control workshop in Yankalilla on 21 February and a series of pindone bait collection days across the region in February and March.
Susan Ivory, Team Leader Pests and Land, and her team have received feedback from landholders that there is significant damage and nuisance from feral rabbits this year, and says it is the ideal time to bait.
“Feral rabbits are one of the country’s most destructive pests, costing the agricultural industry millions of dollars each year, and posing a massive threat to biodiversity and overall landscape health. They overgraze pasture and crops, cause erosion, prevent regeneration of native vegetation and impact vulnerable ecosystems. Milder climatic conditions late last year have resulted in big numbers, and we are hearing from many local landholders, seeking advice and support.
“The board is hosting a series of collection days through February and March, where pindone-treated carrots will be available to purchase at a bulk rate. We encourage neighbours to get on-board with this program together and register for the program, because it really takes an integrated approach for the best results. These collection days will be outdoor and set up to be covid-safe,” she said.
The board made a release of K5 calicivirus late last year, which was distributed to over 200 landholders across the region. With the virus having a knockdown rate of up to 40%, following up with pindone baiting is essential. Pindone is most effective in summer when rabbits are looking for moist feed. It is important to then follow up with removal of shelters and destruction of warrens.
“We were really pleased with the uptake of our K5 release in December and will be in contact with landholders that participated to encourage them to follow up with pindone-treated carrots. We want to support landholders with properties over 1000m2 to safely bait if they have a rabbit problem,” said Ms Ivory.
Landholders in the Cudlee Creek Fire area can also reach out for additional support with rabbit control through the Hills and Fleurieu bushfire recovery program.
Visit the rabbit control page to see dates and locations for collection dates across the region and to register. This site also has information, fact sheets and videos explaining how to prepare for and lay pindone-treated carrots.
If landholders in the Hills and Fleurieu region don’t want to participate in a collection day they can make an appointment at either of the Board’s offices in Mount Barker or Willunga to prepare a control program and purchase pindone carrots at standard prices.