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    Optimal time for rabbit control around Armidale

    Rabbit fumigation croppedCalling all Feral Fighters! Northern Tablelands Local Land Services is encouraging landholders to join the fight against feral animals, specifically targeting rabbits.

    Image - Peter Frizell from Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, demonstrates fumigation as a rabbit control method.

    The Feral Fighters program is an initiative designed to strategically target pest animals at a regional scale. Group baiting strategically targets pest animal populations in a specific geographic location and is an effective way to reduce the rate of re-invasion.

    The program is running throughout the month of September. A Rabbit Control Workshop with a particular focus on peri-urban areas was held on 23 September at Saumarez Ponds near Armidale.

    The Workshop was conducted by the Local Land Services team who are well-trained in the field of feral animal control.

    Participants learnt best practice rabbit control methods and the workshop demonstrated controlled practices including baiting, trapping, and fumigation.

    Leanne Calthorpe, Biosecurity Officer for Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, is encouraging landholders to take advantage of the numerous benefits on offer by joining the program.

    “Despite the unprecedented conditions, the rabbit population continues to thrive, as they compete with livestock and wildlife for resources and pasture,” said Leanne.

    “As a consequence of the drought, the lack of ground cover exposes the extent of the damage caused by rabbits. The rabbit warrens, degraded land and soil erosion, become more evident. Undermined paths and roads, as well as damage under sheds, become more apparent,” she said.

    The current drought and bushfires mean the rabbit population is stressed and searching for food, so right now is the optimal time for undertaking control. The steps involved in best practice control include free feeding prior to poisoning.

    “While feed in the paddock is limited, the chances of the rabbits taking free feed are improved. Northern Tablelands LLS will provide a number of resources to facilitate participation in the program,” said Leanne.

    If you would like to participate in a rabbit control program at your place you are required to hold a current chemical card. For those seeking accreditation, Northern Tablelands LLS also runs Vertebrate Pest Training.

    “The most effective way of controlling rabbits is through collaboration. As rabbits’ feeding ranges can overlap several properties, neighbours working together and at the same time, vastly increases knockdown rates. I strongly encourage property-owners to take advantage of this highly-effective program,” said Leanne.

    To attend the Rabbit Control Workshop and participate in the Feral Fighters program targeting rabbits, contact Leanne Calthorpe on 6739 1400.

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