Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 31.01.12 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, January 31 2012 - 10
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TUESDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2012
11:00am & 12:30pm
Rabbit cull will
Warren mapping makes way for control work
Mt Ainslie Weeders and Mt Majura Mappers coordinator Margaret Clough uses GPS to map
a rabbit warren.
Picture: Elesa Lee
A GROWING rabbit popu-
lation threatening the ability of
reserves to regenerate is the
target of an ACT Government
The Government allocated
$200,000 in 2011-12 to control
rabbit populations and the work
will be undertaken at Mount
Majura and Mount Ainslie
Volunteers from Mount
Ainslie Weeders, Friends of
Mount Majura, the Watson
Woodland Working Group and
the local community have spent
more than 1000 hours mapping
Coordinator of the rabbit
mapping project, Margaret
Claft, recruited more than 50
volunteers to assist with map-
ping the reserves. Volunteers
were trained to identify warrens
and record the information onto
hand-held GPS devices. ''It's a
lot of country and all of that has
been traversed by volunteers,''
Ms Claft said the volunteers
felt very passionately about
protecting the reserves.
''We see all attempts at
replanting and revegetating
being destroyed by rabbits graz-
ing, and we see very little
natural regeneration because as
soon as a shoot appears through
the ground the rabbits eat it
down,'' she said.
Government contractors will
now move through the reserves
fumigating rabbit warrens with
phosphine gas and poisoning
surfaces using pindone carrot
Vertebrate Pest coordinator
Oliver Orgill said the control
work was part of a follow-up
Rabbit numbers spiked quite
highly in 2007 and 2008 due to
the fact that colisee virus and
myxomatosis were no longer
effective at controlling the
''The ACT Government at
that time committed quite a
large amount of funds to some
initial control work which did
bring numbers down,'' he said.
''With any pest control
program it's really important to
do follow up work.''
The impacts of rabbits have
been well documented and Mr
Orgill said the biggest issue in
reserves was that it limited the
ability of an area to regenerate.
''They overgraze areas,
which leads to bare soil, which
leads to weed incursions, run
off and sedimentation,'' he
''They impact on the system,
which in turn impacts on all the
inhabitants in the area.''
While control work does not
pose a risk to public safety,
visitors to these areas are
advised to keep their dogs on a
leash at all times.
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