Landholders are coming together to fight back against rabbits

Craig DuncanHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Rabbits are infamous insidious invasive pests.
Camera IconRabbits are infamous insidious invasive pests. Credit: Pixabay

Landowners across Peel and Harvey have thrown their hats in the ring to help fight back against one of WA’s most pervasive pests.

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group is in the final stages of preparation for its 2024 calicivirus release program, aiming to give landholders across the region control against the hordes of rabbits that blight the land.

Since their invasion, rabbits have been an unwanted addition to the Australian landscape.

PHBG executive officer Teele Hooper-Worrell said fields and plains would be unimaginable today without these little hopping menaces.

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“Rabbits graze on the same native plants that provide food and shelter to native wildlife and undermine efforts to revegetate pastures and reserves,” she said.

Ms Hooper-Worrell said the presence of rabbits also attracted other invasive animals like foxes.

“While adult rabbits only form a small percentage of a fox’s diet, the availability of young rabbits can support inflated fox numbers, which then prey on native mammals, birds and reptiles,” she said.

“They add a further burden to already fragile environments.”

To combat these pests the PHBG will release several rabbits infected with calicivirus into other rabbit populations next month.

A virus fatal to rabbits, it is effective in curtailing the population slightly, however, due to the bountiful breeding of bunnies, it is overall ineffective.

The PHBG ran three rabbit control information sessions for landowners last month, teaching the most effective ways for rabbit reduction.

Landholders can find more details on rabbit prevention and removal on the PHBG website, PHBG.org.

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