The Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board has acquired funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program to assist landholders undertake rabbit control in areas where 9 threatened plant species occur.
It is important that these threatened plants are protected from the effects of rabbit grazing and other threats to their long term survival, such as competition from weeds and overgrazing by other herbivores such as kangaroos and stock. If rabbit control of a best practice nature is not implemented in these areas, it is likely that remaining plants will die and there will be no seed in the soil for the regeneration of new plants, meaning these species could disappear from our landscape.
Rabbit populations of three per hectare are known to completely prevent regeneration of many palatable plant species so the aim of this project will be to try to eradicate rabbits from key areas or at least get their numbers below one per hectare.
It is envisaged over 100 landholders across EP will be involved in this project. EPNRM will supply training; support and equipment to help landholders increase productivity while increasing biodiversity through best practice rabbit control. It is hoped that landholders will form groups and work together to maximise their control of rabbits in their local areas.
EPNRM also aims to achieve other outcomes from this project, including the following:
The project will run for at least three years. In year one will concentrate on defining where rabbits are in relation to the threatened plant species and undertaking 1080 oat baiting. We will continue these works in years two and three and look at destroying warrens and other shelters that may harbour rabbits, such as thickets of boxthorn.