16 Jan

control measures for rabbits in australia

Efforts should be concentrated on reducing the impact of rabbits rather than just focusing on killing rabbits in the short term. It took them six years, but by 1907, more than 2,000 miles of fences crossed the continent. This resulted in a dramatic reduction of Australia's rabbit population. The first fence, stretching 1,138 miles vertically down Australia’s entire western side, is still considered to be the world’s longest continuous standing fence. Despite Australia’s best efforts, the fence was unsuccessful. We recommend that you initially commence with 5-10 does and two bucks to get the feel for handling and managing rabbits. Native to Europe, rabbits were brought to Australia by the First Fleet as food animals, with the first feral rabbit populations recorded by the late 1820s. There is a range of different methods used to control rabbits, however the RSPCA is concerned that none of these methods are without animal welfare problems and in many cases, rabbits will experience severe to moderate suffering prior to death. Through the use of biological control measures, densities within this area have been reduced significantly in recent years and may decrease further if landholders undertake follow-up Biologists have attributed the destruction of the eremophila plant and various Australian trees to the bunny rabbit, which feasts on their seedlings. Baiting with pindone is often recommended for rabbit control in semi-rural areas where 1080 cannot be used, but the RSPCA does not consider this as an acceptable control method as poisoned rabbits can suffer for several days prior to death. Rabbits are one of Australia’s major agricultural and environmental animal pests costing between $600 million and $1 billion annually. Windrows are a common location for rabbit burrows so should be cleared and levelled. Wikimedia CommonsGate in the Rabbit Fence at Stanthorpe, Queensland, c. 1934. Within ten years of Austin releasing the rabbits into the wild, the population became so vast that Australians could kill two million — annually — without significantly affecting their numbers whatsoever. However, dogs may be susceptible to primary poisoning if they eat the poisoned bait (carrot or oats). Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Rabbits are a serious pest and invasive species in Australia causing millions of dollars of damage to crops. And what little agriculturally fit land there is, rabbits plunder for survival. While large, Australia is not a great country for farming. This has consequences. To be effective, rabbit control should be conducted in an integrated way, which means adopting a range of complementary control strategies in cooperation with neighbouring landholders. Still, nature — even pests, nature’s unfortunate fruits — finds a way to survive. 1080 must only be used under the supervision of a qualified operator, and there are different laws controlling its use in each of the states of Australia. First introduced by an English settler as hunting fodder in 1859, the European rabbit population soon … State legislation under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CaLP Act), requires landowners to control declared pest plants and animals, which includes rabbits on their land. RHDV generally only infects adult rabbits. One control measure for use in suburban areas is Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD, previously known as rabbit calicivirus disease) and can be introduced into rabbit populations through baiting. All in all, Australia’s rabbit population is a fraction of what it used to be. Feral Rabbit Control Measures. Rabbits became part of a colonist’s diet and farmers kept them trapped together with stone enclosures. Professional Quality. The disease is devastatingly effective, caused bunny rabbits to die within 14 days of contracting it. In extreme circumstances, action may be taken through the courts to ensure a rabbit-control programme is implemented. Rabbits tend to excessively graze by act of habit — there’s just too many of them — and by diminishing the vegetable cover, wind can erode away the fertile top soil. Why? The rabbits easily thrived on the cleared land, and their population boomed. They compete with native animals, destroy the landscape and are a primary cause of soil erosion by preventing regeneration of native vegetation. Exercise for rabbits consists of hopping, running, jumping on and off raised areas and doing 'binkies' (jumping into the air and twisting their head and body in opposite directions). Rabbits have set up shop in Australia since the late 18th century, when the First Fleet — 11 ships carrying convicts that founded the first European settlement in Australia — brought them along for food in 1788. Many native plants, particularly in WA, have naturally high levels of 1080, so some of our native animal and bird species have quite high resistance to 1080. Both myxo and RHDV were introduced into Australia as biological control agents to suppress rabbit numbers. But by 1901, the Australian government had had enough. And that growth came with significant ecological consequences. On a small property, the best way over the long term to prevent rabbits from damaging your plants and from digging is to fence them out. 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