Six-week rabbit baiting program to protect Chapman River native bushland begins

Staff reporterGeraldton Guardian
A six-week rabbit baiting program will begin next Wednesday.
Camera IconA six-week rabbit baiting program will begin next Wednesday. Credit: City of Greater Geraldton

Efforts to reduce the feral rabbit population and protect native bushland near the Chapman River Regional Park with a six-week baiting program will begin next week.

The City of Greater Geraldton will launch the targeted baiting program on January 31 in the areas surrounding the Fairfax Drive entrance to the park in Moresby and at the Tom Muir Arboretum in Strathalbyn.

The program will include warren fumigation and infilling at the Chapman River Estuary and areas next to the Community Nursery in Waggrakine.

It will include the use of the baiting product pindone, which will be mixed with oats by the licenced contractor.

Pindone is a poison similar to the type found in rat and rodent control baits but poses a lower risk to humans and pets than other rabbit control baits.

The bait will be out only at night when rabbits are most active and there will be an antidote available from the vet.

City of Greater Geraldton CEO Ross McKim said there could be serious damage to the environment if the rabbits were 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 pose an issue for both the city and other landholders.”

Mr McKim said signage would be around to warn locals of the baiting product.

“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,” he said.

Nearby landowners are advised to bury any rabbit carcasses found to reduce the risk of other species consuming the dead rabbits.

For more information on regional rabbit baiting or feral animal control initiatives landholders, contact the city on 9956 6600.

For details about rabbit management, visit pestsmart.org.au/pest-animal-species/european-rabbit/

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