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Rabbit program rips a hole in numbers

A successful rabbit control program has protected almost a hundred thousand hectares of high-value vegetation in the Victorian Mallee.

Rabbit program rips a hole in numbers

A Buloke seedling at Hattah Kulkyne National Park. Photo: Parks Victoria.

Rabbit ripping, fumigation, baiting and some follow-up shooting were used to tackle rabbit numbers at Pine Plains in Wyperfeld National Park, the Mournpall Block in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, at Patchewollock and west of Nyah.

The work were carried out by the Mallee Landcare Group, Nyah West Landcare Group and Parks Victoria. The project was supported by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA), through funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country.

“Rabbits are a big threat to native vegetation in our region and this program has really made a difference in these areas,” Mallee CMA chair Sharyon Peart said.

“This program was completed to promote the regeneration and recovery of Buloke Woodlands and Winged Peppercress, which are both endangered and need protection.”

Buloke Woodlands are non-eucalypt dominated woodlands that occur in patchy and highly fragmented areas across the region.  The Winged Peppercress (Lepidium monoplocoides) is a small native annual herb that grows about 20cm high. 

Ms Peart said grazing by rabbits was a key threat to the survival of both Buloke Woodlands and Winged Peppercress.

“These rabbit control works were a crucial step toward reducing rabbit populations to a level where regeneration can occur,” she said.

“This program has really complemented the significant investment that been made into rabbit control in these areas in recent years and it’s resulted in a visible reduction in rabbit numbers.”

For more information on the rabbit control program, contact the Mallee CMA on 03 5051 4377.

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