European Rabbits

Rabbits arrived in Australia with the first fleet who deliberately released them for hunting purposes. They rapidly colonised and are now found in all states and territories of Australia.

They graze on vegetation preventing seedling growth and establishment, and directly compete with livestock for feed. Rabbits compete with native fauna for food and shelter. Diggings and warren construction lead to loss of vegetation cover leading to soil erosion. More here

The Threat abatement plan released by the Australian Government Department of the Environment in January 2016 found that rabbits are a significant threat to biodiversity, affecting 304 nationally threatened plant and animal species. Rabbits also impact agricultural productivity by $200 million a year”. (Source: Pestsmart)

Feral Rabbits

Photo: Wikipedia

Rabbit Control in City Managed Natural Areas

The City of Greater Geraldton undertakes annual rabbit control in remnant bushland areas with high environmental value. More here

Rabbits are usually controlled via a baiting program using Pindone an anticoagulant poison similar to that found in many rat and rodent control baits which is mixed with oats by the licensed contractor. It poses a lower risk to humans and pets than the bait used in broad-acre rabbit control. There is an antidote available from veterinarians. Other management options include warren destruction, installing rabbit proof fencing, plant guards and biological control.

Rabbit Control on Your Property

Some simple measures you can take on your property to discourage rabbits are: 

  • Preventing rabbits from entering your property with fencing, protecting seedlings with plant/tree guards, fencing off higher value vegetation e.g. vegie gardens
  • Remove areas that rabbits can harbour in such as wood piles or other materials
  • Install tree guards to protect your young trees
  • Using repellents such as garlic, onion or pepper powders, talcum powder or blood and bone sprinkled around your garden
  • Contact your local pest controller for management or advice for your property

Check out our handy guide to rabbit control on your property here

Answer some of your frequently asked questions here 

More information on approved control methods in urban and semi-urban areas here