Rab­bits put on notice with war­ren rip­ping work­shop

War­ren rip­ping ses­sion de­clared a real rip­per

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Front Page -

STAN­THORPE district land­hold­ers showed up in force to a war­ren rip­ping demon­stra­tion and field day hosted by the Queens­land Mur­ray-Dar­ling Com­mit­tee last week, con­firm­ing rab­bit con­trol is a grow­ing con­cern on the Gran­ite Belt.

The group of more than 40 in­cluded gra­ziers, vine­yard own­ers, hor­ti­cul­tur­ists, life­style block own­ers and an or­ganic chook farmer, all from The Sum­mit area north of Stan­thorpe, one of the fo­cal points of a new rab­bit con­trol project.

QMDC re­gional co­or­di­na­tor Vanessa Macdon­ald said the project aimed to target source rab­bit pop­u­la­tions and was a rare op­por­tu­nity for land­hold­ers to ac­cess ex­pert ad­vice, tap into fi­nan­cial help and get on top of their rab­bit in­fes­ta­tions while the new strain of rab­bit virus (K5) was ac­tively knock­ing down num­bers.

In the four months since the project be­gan, 150 war­rens were ripped in the Wal­lan­garra district, re­sult­ing in an 86% re­duc­tion in rab­bit num­bers, and pre­vent­ing the po­ten­tial breed­ing of 50,000 rab­bits.

“This project is unique in that it gives land­hold­ers ac­cess to all stake­hold­ers in­volved in rab­bit con­trol in­clud­ing QMDC, the South­ern Downs and Toowoomba re­gional coun­cils, the Univer­sity of South­ern Queens­land, the Dar­ling Downs-More­ton Rab­bit Board, Biose­cu­rity Queens­land and NSW Lo­cal Land Ser­vices,” Ms Macdon­ald said.

“After the field day, peo­ple seem to have a clear idea of what they need to do, and that is, to de­stroy the breed­ing grounds and to fol­low up with mon­i­tor­ing and mop­ping up any rab­bits they miss.

“Our back hoe demon­stra­tion gave land­hold­ers an in­sight into the rip­ping tech­nique, show­ing how and why it is recog­nised as the best man­age­ment tech­nique for rab­bit con­trol.

“It prompted a lot of ques­tions and lead to the ma­jor­ity of at­ten­dees say­ing they’d like to join the project and de­stroy war­rens in a co­or­di­nated way with neigh­bours.

“A lot of com­ments were along the lines of ‘this re­ally is the way to go – we just need to rip’.

“We also em­pha­sised that land­hold­ers need to mon­i­tor and con­trol re­main­ing rab­bits by ap­ply­ing other tech­niques such as fu­mi­ga­tion, trap­ping and fenc­ing.

“The next step is to go back and map all war­rens on land­holder prop­er­ties, which we ex­pect will lead to a lot of war­ren rip­ping in The Sum­mit district,” she said.

Land­hold­ers who un­der­take rip­ping will be pro­vided with up to one third of the over­all cost in fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance through QMDC from the Queens­land Feral Pest Ini­tia­tive.

Go to www.qmdc.org.au for de­tails.

After the field day, peo­ple seem to have a clear idea of what they need to do... — Vanessa Macdon­ald

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

RIP­PER EVENT: Teach­ing land­hold­ers at The Sum­mit rab­bit war­ren rip­ping field day are (from left) host Con Petroc­citto, Nathan Ring, Dr Dave Ber­man, Mark Ridge, Vanessa Macdon­ald, Peter Elsworth, and Craig Mag­nussen.

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