Rabbit control time is now
With the recent summer rains, warm weather and abundant green feed around, rabbits are taking advantage of the good conditions, with feral rabbit populations breeding rapidly throughout the Murraylands region.
Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board District Manager Kylie Moritz said rabbit breeding season is occurring now, so it is an ideal time to start thinking about an integrated rabbit control program with your neighbours.
As pest animals do not know what boundary fences are, working together with your neighbours at a similar time to undertake an ongoing combined rabbit control program will provide better results, reduce costs and offer greater chances of longer term success,” she said.
“Our rabbit control toolbox has many options. We encourage landholders to use best practice methods such as removal of harbors, warren and burrow destruction, warren fumigation, calicivirus release and baiting.”
Ms Moritz said we recommend using a variety of these methods as individual methods alone cannot completely control rabbit populations by themselves.
“We know rabbits are difficult to control and require constant ongoing landholder action to manage. Investing a little effort now will save you time and money later“ she said.
Feral rabbits are estimated to cost primary producers millions of dollars annually. They cause extensive damage to crops and pastures and threaten the survival of native plants and animals.
Grazing on crops reduces crop yields while grazing on pastures increases competition for feed with stock such as sheep and cattle. This can affect the carrying capacity of livestock on a property.
The grazing impact of 12 rabbits is equivalent to one dry sheep (Dry Sheep Equivalents or DSE).
A single pair of rabbits have the potential to breed every 14 weeks and multiply up to 180 rabbits in 18 months.
Ms Moritz said we have equipment such as bait-laying trailers that can be hired from the Murray Bridge landscape office.
If you would like more information on conducting a rabbit control program on your property, please contact the Murraylands District Team at the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, Murray Bridge, on8532 9100.
This project is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the landscape levies.