Eastern Eyre landholders urged to bait for feral rabbits

BAIT NOW: Landscape officer Liam Anderson with a rabbit burrow found on eastern Eyre Peninsula. Photo: Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board
BAIT NOW: Landscape officer Liam Anderson with a rabbit burrow found on eastern Eyre Peninsula. Photo: Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board

Landholders in the eastern areas of Eyre Peninsula are being urged to bait feral rabbits.

The Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board (EPLB) is requesting that baiting occurs after reports of feral rabbit numbers rising around Cleve, Kimba and Cowell.

The board's Cleve-based landscape officer Liam Anderson said it was imperative that landholders got on top of this rise in rabbit numbers.

"Rabbits breed up quickly and will feed on crops and pastures," he said.

"The grazing impact of 12 rabbits is equivalent to one dry sheep [and] baiting can cut numbers by 98 per cent.

"Rabbits consume of lot of plant seeds in their diet, making oats an ideal bait."

Landscape officers in the EPLB's eastern offices are available to help landholders establish their baiting program, with 12-kilogram buckets of pre-mixed 1080 oats available for $25.

Bait-laying trailers can also be loaned free of charge from the Cleve office.

Mr Anderson said an effective baiting program took commitment, with land managers needing to 'train' rabbits to eat oats by supplying three 'free' feeds of clean oats before laying bait out.

He said the three feeds should be laid at least three days apart, before the trail of 1080 oats.

"If you do not supply free feeds, then you run the risk of a poor uptake of bait and having bait-shy rabbits on your property," Mr Anderson said.

"Fast action and a small investment of time now will save you a great deal of time and money in the future.

"Rabbit control is an integral part of farm planning, with baiting being only one part of a control program."

The EPLB can also help facilitate a release of the RHDV1 K5 (Khaleesi) virus.

For more details on this, plus any other information about baiting feral rabbits, contact Mr Anderson on 0428 282 077.

A full range of other control techniques and practices can be found on the FeralScan website, and rabbit sightings can also be reported on FeralScan.

Landholders in other areas of Eyre Peninsula are also encouraged to contact their local landscape board office for baiting options if rabbit sightings are increasing.