Management of rabbits in rural areas
Image credit: Scott Jennings
Rabbits are a serious invasive pest in Australia causing millions of dollars in damage to crops and the natural environment.
It is a landowner’s legal responsibility to control rabbits on their property under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019.
- rabbits cause extensive damage to crops, pastures and native vegetation
- they are difficult to control and will quickly re-invade, so they need constant management
- deep burrows enable them to survive most environmental conditions
- they adapt to a variety of food and can graze plants to ground level.
Planning a control program
- plan and prepare your control program in advance so you can implement the control methods at the right time and in the best sequence
- try to work in collaboration with your neighbours; this can achieve more widespread and successful results
- look for signs where rabbits have been active, such as burrows, fresh scratches in the soil, scattered or piled dung and damage to vegetation
- they also take refuge above ground, in areas such as plant beds or wood heaps
- rabbits are territorial, generally staying within 200 metres of burrows and shelter and feeding mainly at 25 to 50 metres
- the best time to do rabbit control work is in late summer or autumn.
How to control this animal
- there are a number of methods for rabbit control; it is best to use an ongoing combination of them
- start by estimating the total area the rabbits are using – this is where your control program will need to concentrate
- control methods include any or all of the following:
- removing above-ground refuge
- destroying warrens and burrows
- exclusion fencing.
Please contact us for advice and assistance with controlling rabbits.