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Author Topic: Rabbits targeted to save Lake Hindmarsh native plants  (Read 1138 times)

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Rabbits targeted to save Lake Hindmarsh native plants
« on: April 05, 2012, 10:40:40 PM »
Media release: Rabbits targeted to save Lake Hindmarsh native plants
5 April 12 Victoria DPI

 Decent rains from last summer have resulted in a regeneration of native plant species near Lake Hindmarsh.

The race is now on to protect this new growth from hungry rabbits. The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Parks Victoria are conducting a joint rabbit control program in the Lake Hindmarsh area to take advantage of these good conditions for the regeneration of native vegetation.

DPI Biosecurity Area Leader Malinda Godino said that rabbits were a significant pest animal in the Wimmera and of particular concern in the Lake Hindmarsh area.

“The Wimmera River and the area around the eastern shore of Lake Hindmarsh have high wetland and native vegetation values. Rabbits can strip native plants bare and prevent their regeneration,” Ms Godino said.

“DPI staff have inspected 65 properties in the area which includes road and railway reserves spanning about 17,000 hectares and issued legal notices to control rabbits on 50 properties.”

Parks Victoria Ranger in Charge Stuart Lardner said Parks Victoria, with help from the Good Neighbour Program, was investing more than $100,000 to control rabbits in the Lake Hindmarsh area.

“This will protect the regeneration of native plant seedlings, such as Red Gum and Black Box, which have proliferated following the January rains last year. Without a coordinated approach, including the landowners adjoining the Lake Reserve, the program would be less effective.”

Ms Godino said DPI was using its enforcement powers to support the efforts of landowners, and where non-compliance for rabbit control occurred, penalties could apply.

Landowners have a legal responsibility to manage pest animals on their property to ensure they don’t adversely affect agricultural production on neighbouring farms or impact on the natural environment. Failure to meet this responsibility can result in fines of up to $29,000.

For more information about pest animal management call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

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