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Recovering Rangelands: Mallee Bounceback

The latest data from the ‘Recovering Rangelands: Mallee Bounceback’ project is now available.

Recovering Rangelands: Mallee Bounceback

Hattah Lakes

The project, administered by Parks Victoria on behalf of the Department Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) Weeds and Pests Program, aims to maintain rabbit abundance below the threshold at which damage will occur within at-risk communities.

The results identify rabbit activity within four remnant rangeland communities in the Mallee: Millewa North; Hattah; Cowangie - Pink Lakes; and Wyperfeld – Patchewollock. This data will be updated each autumn and spring.

For the first time since the late 1990s when rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) went through the rabbit population, all areas under long term rabbit management have reached our target of at least 80% of transects at 1 or fewer rabbits per spotlight kilometre.

Well done to everyone for the huge effort, particularly over the last 5 years, to get to this point!  

The table below provides an overview of the percentage of spotlight kilometres achieving the target of 1 or fewer rabbits at a selection of areas over the last 12 months (and a flash back to 2008).  Remember our target is at least 80%.  By maintaining rabbit abundance below this target we are already seeing natural regeneration of overstorey woodland vegetation in areas where overstorey trees remain (woodland condition assessment reports by ARIER 2012 and Sunraysia Environmental 2011).  The continuing test of our management will be to maintain the high level of rabbit abundance control, to continue to promote the extent of thriving regeneration of overstorey non-eucalypt trees, and to target revegetation to those extensive areas where overstorey has been lost or is no longer producing viable seed.

Area Spring 2013 Autumn 2013 Spring 2012 2008
Murray Sunset – Millewa North  97  97 95 89 
Murray Sunset – Pink Lakes-Cowangie  95 95 86 93 
Murray Sunset – RRG  69 74  24  -
Hattah 90  83  77 71 
Hattah - Park transects only  84 76 72 43
Wyperfeld 93 90 81 81
Wyperfeld - Pine Plains transects only 95 89 88 76

When reviewing these numbers it is important to remember that they are a snapshot in time only, and that seasonal conditions will impact rabbit visibility. 

For more information on the 'Recovering Rangelands: Mallee Bounceback' project, including maps presenting the results for each targeted area click here.

For further information, contact Kathryn Schneider, Environment Program Manager, at Parks Victoria on 5051 4651.

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