A burrow ‘minefield’
An infestation of rabbits on land beside Lake Dunstan is creating a ‘‘hazardous minefield’’, a community spokesperson says.
The Pisa Moorings Community Group is lobbying the Central Otago District Council, Land Information New Zealand and Otago Regional Council to take responsibility for the escalating problem.
Group chairman Luke Win said rabbits were running rampant on land beside Lake Dunstan and adjacent to the Pisa Moorings community, about 10km from Cromwell.
‘‘You have got three organisations that all point the finger about who is responsible for what. The most constructive thing would be to get all three around a table at the same time so they can’t play dodgeball. We have got rabbits running up the street, people have got them in their yards. There is a lovely recreation area with a walking and cycle track running through it but how can you enjoy it when it is riddled with burrows? It is a minefield.’’
The situation needed to be treated with urgency, and the approach needed to be a ‘‘concerted effort’’ with public consultation, he said.
‘‘Rabbit proof fencing around the perimeter of the community is one of the better options but we all have to be on same page to get it done.’’
LINZ biosecurity manager Dave Mole said the organisation proactively carried out rabbit control on the land it managed around Lake Dunstan to ensure it complied with the Regional Pest Management Strategy.
‘‘We’re always open to meeting and coordinating with community groups, adjacent landowners and other agencies. LINZ has not been contacted about rabbit issues on land we manage.’’
LINZ was taking part in a joint rabbit control operation on the Lake Dunstan foreshore, north of Pisa Moorings, over the next few weeks where numbers had exceeded acceptable levels, he said.
Mayor Tim Cadogan said any solution should come from the wider landowner group.
‘‘We all know that just tackling bits here and there will never be an effective solution...Council has and will continue to work together with other landholders, as part of any wider landowner programme. Council will take its lead from ORC as it is the regulatory agency.‘‘ council land. A landowner to the north of the council reserve was also using pindone.
‘‘There will be no 1080 used on council land. There is a 30-metre buffer on either side of the track and away from houses. After the second bait drop the contractor will be spending two days picking up carcasses.’’
There was signage in the area warning people should not touch the bait, closely supervise their children, and keep their dogs on a lead at all times. The signage also showed an image of the bait - a cut carrot coated with the green toxic solution.
The method chosen was an accepted measure under the Otago Regional Council’s Pest Management Strategy and had also been consented by the Southern District Health Board.
The drop will proceed Wednesday, August 9 and again on August 16, but was weather dependent.