Rabbit Eradication Activities

(see also our general information about rabbits)

The Rabbit Action on the Bellarine Peninsula projects are about

  • implementing an effective rabbit management program on the Bellarine Peninsula, with particular emphasis on high rabbit population areas
  • providing advice and assistance regarding rabbit management to landholders and community members through the BLG
  • increasing the knowledge, skills and capability of landholders to implement on-going rabbit control works
  • encouraging collaboration amongst neighbours and adjoining landholders to work together to implement strategies that will reduce rabbit populations

In April 2013, in response to increasing prevalence of rabbits on the Peninsula, Bellarine Landcare established a temporary role of Rabbit Action Facilitator with the specific aim of working with landholders to create awareness around the impact of rabbits and to develop capability within the community to implement control measures in such a way that pest management will become an ongoing and sustained practice.

Actions taken included

  • Establishing a working group consisting primary producers, Landcare staff, local Government, Parks Victoria and Gordon Tafe students
  • Holding of a Public Meeting
  • Co-ordination of a Rabbit Assessment Survey with local landholders
  • Holding of Rabbit Control Field Day demonstrating various control measures
  • Property visits, phone discussions, technical advice and identification of hotspot areas
  • Implementing a baiting program 
  • Establishing a database of activities with residents
  • Production of gate signs for landholders highlighting the impage of pest animals
  • Distribution of relevant brochures and fact sheets
  • Use of media and social media to promote Rabbit Action events

In 2015 a new rabbit eradication project was started with a grant from the Victorian Rabbit Abatement Network. This is on-going.

BLG kicked off the 2015 activity with a mailout to a small section of the Bellarine. From 600 letters, 100 people attended the first meeting. They come from the area around Wallington, Curlewis, etc and decided to work together on this project.

There have been meetings about how to establish a strategy since then. Now, the rabbit team is working on a Bellarine-wide strategy. Anyone interested in engaging with this activity is encouraged to join our rabbiters mailing list to stay abreast of developments. Of course, if you can offer help in this process, we will be particularly interested to hear from you.

BLG is keen to work with the national rabbit eradication services. In particular, we recommend visiting the very well developed site at http://feralscan.org.au/rabbitscan/pagecontent.aspx?page=rabbit_resources for access to many reliable resources.

Some people have suggested that myxomatosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myxomatosis) seemed to have had some effect in 2015. It should be noted that while this might help, it only takes two rabbits to work back up to a large population within months. Calicivirus is also being released but clearly these actions alone do not solve the problem.