The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is calling on landholders affected by wild rabbits and feral pigs to complete an online survey to help manage these destructive pests.
Working in partnership with Recognised Biosecurity Groups (RBGs) and other community groups, the department is seeking to better understand the impact wild rabbits and feral pigs are having on farms, the issues people encounter trying to control them, and where landholders may need assistance.
The responses to the survey will assist RBGs and community groups develop coordinated control programs and therefore have the best chance of success.
Department development officer James Dee said that despite the release of effective biological control methods, communities still have a pivotal role to play with traditional control programs.
“The release of the RHDV1-K5 virus last year has been effective in reducing wild rabbit numbers, and using traditional techniques now will capitalise on that reduction,” he said.
“It’s estimated that the virus has reduced the wild rabbit population by 42 per cent, but for effective control we need to get that down significantly further.
“Feral pigs are being found in new areas around the state, and there is no effective biological control agent that can be used against them.
“To successfully manage wild rabbits and feral pigs, which are both prolific breeders and can have such a significant impact on agriculture, co-ordinated control programs are essential.”
The survey only takes five minutes to complete. It asks respondents about the damage that the pests have caused to their property, what kind of monitoring activities they’ve conducted, and what control methods they have used.
“Once we’ve analysed the results, it will give the department, RBGs and other community groups a better understanding of the challenges associated with controlling wild rabbits and feral pigs,” Mr Dee said.
“We’ll then continue to work with landholders to develop and refine strategies that will help reduce numbers and protect their valuable agricultural assets.”
The survey is open until the 5 May 2018 and is online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BRMPRV3
Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937/3325