Northern Bendigo Landcare will run a feral rabbit control workshop

Photo: Nick Moir.
Photo: Nick Moir.

Northern Bendigo Landcare is aiming to address the problem of rabbits that plague the Huntly Streamside Reserve by bringing together stakeholders and experts in an upcoming workshop.

Northern Bendigo Landcare volunteer Nicole Howie said the group sees rabbits destroying re-vegetation and restoration work on the creek.

Feral rabbits cause about $200 million worth of damage to crops in Australia each year.

Northern Bendigo Landcare has been gradually treating rabbit warrens in the Huntly Streamside Reserve as part of their restoration works. 

Ms Howie said that as a feral species rabbits upset the natural balance of an ecosystem. When not managed, they quickly get out of control.

When it’s dry... green that does come up just gets decimated by the rabbits.

Nicole Howie

“You don’t have to spend very long there to walk through and see a lot of burrows, scratchings and dung piles,” Ms Howie said.

“When it’s dry… green that does come up just gets decimated by the rabbits.

“When you lose that grass cover, wind and rain causes erosion.”

But it’s not just Landcare who have a stake in the creek’s health. Landholders along the narrow reserve, council and various government departments who manage adjoining land are also affected.

Ms Howie said the seminar was a chance for stakeholders to  collaborate for effective land management.

The workshop will cover rabbits’ impact, control measures, and a RabbitScan App.

Speakers include members of the Victorian Rabbit Action Network, Agriculture Victoria representatives.

Rabbit control efforts could even receive a boost from technology.

Peter West from the NSW Department of Primary Industries will introduce guests to a RabbitScan App, which allows citizen scientists to enter data to track rabbit population in an area.

On top of the damage they cause to crops, rabbits also threaten native species by competing for resources, and degrading the habitat.

Jase Coulson is project manager for rabbit control of the Bendigo Creek Streamside Reserve at Huntly.

He will be showing attendees how to irrigate a rabbit warren.

In Mr Coulson’s time working on Bendigo Creek he’s seen rabbits continually damage the area. 

“They attack a lot of vegetation, new regeneration of the trees around the reserve,” he said.

“It just makes it hard to re-vegate the area.”

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  • Rabbit Control Workshop will run on Tuesday August 14, from 10am-3pm at Huntly Fire Station, RSVP by August 10 to Nicole at dnhowie@bigpond.com or 0413 974 074