Feral Rabbit Control Program underway in Port Stephens

Feral rabbits are to be baited.
Feral rabbits are to be baited.

IN an effort to protect and conserve local flora and fauna, Port Stephens Council will be undertaking a feral rabbit control program on public land across the Local Government Area.

Commencing on Monday 27 June, Natural Resources staff will establish baiting stations across a range of sports grounds and reserves.

Port Stephens Council’s Coordinator of Natural Resources, Les Seddon said that the program was aimed at limiting the negative impact feral rabbits have on the local ecosystem.

“Feral rabbits are a significant environmental issue here in Port Stephens.”

 “They displace native animals by competing for food and habitat, can cause serious erosion problems and reduce recruitment and survival of native plants,” said Mr Seddon.

 “Council as a landholder has a responsibility to control declared feral pests such as rabbits and limit their negative impact,” he said.

 Baiting stations will be erected one week prior to the commencement of the program, containing un-baited carrots to initially attract them to the identified areas.

 Mr Seddon said that during this period residents may notice an increased presence of feral rabbits at specified locations.

 “We’d ask that people avoid entering the marked exclusion zones or feed rabbits during this time.”

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“All identified locations will be extensively signposted to ensure residents are aware of the presence of baiting stations.”

 “We’d encourage everyone to exercise caution in these areas, especially in the company of any household pets.”

“The poison and doses being utilised for this program are specifically targeted to rabbits and in the most part, are non-toxic to people and other animals – however, it can have a minor effect and most vets will carry the necessary antidote,” Mr Seddon said.

If you have any concerns regarding potential poisoning contact the Poison Information Line on 13 11 26.

Qualified staff will be carrying out the work in accordance with licensing and product requirements.

If you have any questions regarding Council’s Feral Rabbit Control Program contact (02) 4980 0255

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