Calling all Feral Fighters! Northern Tablelands Local Lands Services is encouraging landholders to join the fight against feral animals, specifically targeting rabbits, across the month of September.
The Feral Fighters program is an initiative designed to strategically target pest animals at a regional scale. Group baiting targets pest animal populations in a specific geographic location and is an effective way to reduce the rate of re-invasion.
The program will run through the month of September. A Rabbit Control Field Day will be held in partnership with GLENRAC in Glen Innes on 3 September at “Naalong”, 52 Wilson Road, from 9:30am – 2:00pm. A BBQ lunch will be provided at the conclusion of the event.
The workshop will be conducted by the Local Land Services team who are well-trained in the field of feral animal control. As well as large land holdings, the program is also tailored for small holdings and semi-rural properties.
Participants can expect to learn best practice rabbit control methods and the workshops will include demonstrations of baiting, ripping, and fumigation.
David Clarke, 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 David.
“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,” he said.
The current drought means 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 landholders’ participation in the program,” said David.
Landholders wanting to participate in the program 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, landholders working together and at the same time, vastly increases knockdown rates. I strongly encourage landholders to take advantage of this highly-effective program,” said David.