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Pet owners warned as rabbit baiting to protect Chapman River Regional Park begins

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Pet owners should be extra vigilant during a four-week baiting program starting next week to control high rabbit numbers and protect native vegetation at Chapman River Regional Park.
Camera IconPet owners should be extra vigilant during a four-week baiting program starting next week to control high rabbit numbers and protect native vegetation at Chapman River Regional Park. Credit: Wikipedia/RegionalHUB

Pet owners should be extra vigilant during a four-week baiting program starting next week to control high rabbit numbers and protect native vegetation at Chapman River Regional Park.

From Monday, the City of Greater Geraldton will start baiting next to the suburbs of Moresby, Waggrakine and the Tom Muir Arboretum in Strathalbyn. The bait will be placed at night to reduce the risk of harm to native animals and pets.

Pet owners should keep close eye on their animals in these areas during the baiting program, and landowners in the area are requested to bury dead rabbits on their properties to prevent harm to non-target species.

Pindone, a poison similar to what’s used in rodent control baits, will be mixed with oats by the licenced contractor.

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City CEO Ross McKim said if left uncontrolled, rabbits could disrupt the natural environment by competing with native animals for food and habitat, damaging native flora and causing soil erosion in bush reserves.

“The Chapman River Regional Park is one of the few remaining quality stands of remnant vegetation in the area and we need to protect it for future generations,” he said.

Mr McKim said signage and advertising would “alert the community” about baiting in the area, but it was the “responsibility of surrounding landholders and visitors” to keep a close eye on their pets during the program rollout.

An antidote is available from veterinarians if an emergency occurs.

For more information on feral animal control, contact the City on 9956 6600.

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