Chapman River native bushland to be protected from rabbits

Published on Thursday, 25 January 2024 at 12:05:15 PM

The City of Greater Geraldton will be taking action to protect unique flora in the Chapman River Regional Park by reducing the feral rabbit population in a six week comprehensive baiting program.

Starting on 31 January 2024, the targeted baiting program will take place in the area around the Fairfax Drive entrance to the Park in Moresby and at the Tom Muir Arboretum in Strathalbyn.

The program will also span to the area adjacent to the Community Nursery in Waggrakine and include warren fumigation and infilling at the Chapman River Estuary.

City of Greater Geraldton CEO Ross McKim said rabbits cause serious environmental damage if left uncontrolled.

“Rabbits impact our environment by competing with native animals for food and habitat, they damage our native flora and cause soil erosion in our bush reserves,” he said.

“They aren’t just confined to the Park either - the surrounding land also supports large populations which poses an issue for both the City and other landholders.

“The Chapman River Regional Park is one of the few remaining quality stands of remnant vegetation in this area and we need to act to protect its flora.”

The baiting product, Pindone, will be mixed with oats by the licenced contractor. Pindone is an anticoagulant poison similar to that found in many rat and rodent control baits. 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.

“Signage and advertising will alert residents and visitors that baiting is in progress, however, it is the responsibility of surrounding landholders and visitors to manage their pets carefully while the signage is present,” Mr McKim added.

The bait will only be put out at night when rabbits are most active. This will reduce the risk to non-target species such as native fauna and pets.

Adjacent landholders should bury any rabbit carcasses that they find on their properties. This will further assist in reducing the risk to non-target species that may consume dead rabbits.

For further information on regional rabbit baiting or feral animal control initiatives landholders please contact the City on 9956 6600.

Read about rabbit management here:

Feral rabbits

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