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Author Topic: Rabbit control tightens to protect Yarra Pygmy Perch  (Read 2131 times)

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Rabbit control tightens to protect Yarra Pygmy Perch
« on: March 04, 2012, 07:21:20 PM »
Media release: Rabbit control tightens to protect Yarra Pygmy Perch 2 March 12 - Victoria DPI

Rabbits in the Thompson’s Creek area near Geelong are being targeted in a bid to protect the habitat of the vulnerable fish species Yarra Pygmy Perch.

Thompson’s Creek is a priority waterway in the Corangamite region and it supports Yarra Pygmy Perch, which are being affected by declining habitat and water quality caused partly by rabbits.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Biosecurity Leader for Corangamite Craig Clutterbuck said excessive grazing pressure resulting from high rabbit numbers had reduced ground cover and exposed large areas of topsoil in the area.

“Overgrazing allows wind and water erosion to carry sediment into the waterway reducing water quality,” Mr Clutterbuck said.

“The presence of rabbits also jeopardises attempts to rehabilitate the stream through revegetation.

“Between 2007 and 2010, the Thompson’s Creek rabbit project encompassed over 280 properties, starting from the headwaters of the creek to the coast at Breamlea.

“This year, a specific section of the creek where rabbits are having a heavy impact on the environment will be the focus of a follow-up program.

“DPI officers have inspected properties in the focus area and where infestations of rabbits were found, legal notices were issued to ensure all landholders implement rabbit control.

“A lot of rabbit control work has already been done in this area so it’s important we check on properties to ensure rabbit numbers have reduced and efforts by community members in the past are not wasted.”

Mr Clutterbuck said efforts on private land were being complemented by the treatment of infestations on Crown land and roadsides in the project area.

“All landowners have a legal responsibility to manage pest plants and animals and in May this year we will reinspect these properties.

“If people don’t undertake pest control, they can be fined up to $29,000.”

Approximately 30 private landholders, and stakeholders including DPI, the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Surf Coast Shire Council, Surf Coast Inland Plains Landcare Network and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority are involved in the program.

For more information call the DPI Customer Service Centre on 136 186


Yarra Pygmy Perch. Photo courtesy of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.


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