Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Video: Make a Rabbit Bait Station

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  • Video: Make a Rabbit Bait Station

Over the last few months, Connecting Country has received many reports from landholders noticing an increase in numbers of feral European Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) on their property. An increase in rabbit population also means an expansion of their home range and distribution: young rabbits will venture out and discover new feeding grounds on neighbouring properties and far beyond. Although any time of the year is a good time to control rabbits, February and March are optimum months as rabbits are less territorial. The availability of feed is also usually at a low point, and therefore they are more likely to consume baits.

Rabbits cause extensive damage to farmland and our natural environment. On farms, they reduce pasture for stock, eat crops, reduce the biodiversity that keeps the land healthy, and cause erosion by digging holes and increasing the amount of bare earth. In the bush, they eat young shoots and seedlings, impacting on native regeneration and new plantings. They also compete directly with our native herbivores.

There are lots of available options when it comes to controlling rabbits, and usually an integrated approach involving undertaking multiple methods concurrently is most effective. However, most of these techniques need specialist contractors and equipment. We find that an effective way for landholders to get started on their own is to use Pindone oats with bait stations. Pindone is used as a safer alternative to sodium fluoroacetate (1080), and can be improved further through the use of specially-designed bait stations.

These bait stations are made from 44 gallon (220litre) drums cut in half lengthways with 2 small entrances on either end. The drum covers a short furrow filled with Pindone oats, preventing birds, kangaroos, wallabies and livestock from accessing the oats. Connecting Country has recently developed a short instructional video about the establishment of Pindone Bait Stations:

Further information is available in the Pest Animal Control section of the Connecting Country website.