Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Act now for Rabbit Buster Month

Posted on 5 February, 2019 by Asha

February marks ‘Rabbit Buster Month’. This successful campaign began in the 1990s and continues to serve as a reminder to plan for and act on rabbit control.

Rabbit monitoring

It’s easy to observe when rabbit populations are high as damage is noticeable, but it can be hard to know when populations are building. Ensuring rabbits have minimal impact within a specific area requires regular monitoring. If rabbit numbers reach unacceptable levels, immediate control actions are required.

Useful rabbit monitoring techniques that landholders can implement on their own properties are described in the following documents:


Rabbit control

If rabbit numbers reach levels which require control, an integrated approach using a range of techniques usually works best. Methods can include fumigation, shooting, baiting using pindone, ferrets, warren ripping and netting. Most of these techniques require specialist practitioners with appropriate licences and accreditation, with their associated equipment and other costs.

A cost-effective way for landholders to get started with rabbit control is to establish one or more rabbit bait stations, using an oat bait with pindone poison as the active ingredient. Your local rural supply merchant can supply this product and advice.

Click on these links for useful information for setting up your own bait station:

However, the most effective rabbit control uses a range of techniques and constant vigilance. The good news is that even the most rabbit-affected properties can be brought under control, and the rabbit numbers maintained at very low levels.

Rabbit biocontrol

Rabbit biocontrol, such as introduction of a rabbit virus, can be most beneficial if applied as part of an integrated and complementary pest management approach. Here are some statistics about the release of a new rabbit virus (from the February 2019 North Central Chat newsletter):

  • The RHDV1 K5 rabbit virus was officially released at 382 locations nationwide.
  • Sites included 373 community-run release sites and nine intensively monitored releases sites.
  • Some sites did not progress due to low rabbit numbers, timing or poor weather conditions.
  • 42% of sites recorded a reduction in rabbit numbers post-release (based on data from 191 release sites).
  • Through laboratory analysis, RHDV1 K5 rabbit deaths were confirmed in every state and territory, except the Northern Territory.


Further information

If you would like a hard copy of Connecting Country’s  ‘Ute Guide to Rabbit Control’, contact our office on (03) 5472 1594 or email info@connectingcountry.org.au

To visit the Victorian Rabbit Action Network website, click here

To download the February 2019 North central Chat, which includes a Rabbit Buster Month feature, click here

To download a copy of Connecting Country approved contractor list, click here

Rabbit warrens scattered across paddocks in Muckleford Gorge (photo by Tanya Loos)

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