THE South Gippsland Landcare Network (SGLN) has commenced work on a new fox and rabbit control program.
Covering 16,000ha of coast and farmland, project planning and some works have been underway for six months, with another two years of on-ground work to come.
Fox control will be undertaken through baiting on farmland and public land, with fox trapping in areas around Venus Bay and Tarwin Lower. Rabbit control will be achieved via the release of a new strain of calicivirus at multiple locations across the area.
The project area runs from Venus Bay to Walkerville, between the Walkerville Road and the coast.
SGLN co-ordinator Glenn Brooks-MacMillan said foxes and rabbits are a threat to farm productivity as well as to wildlife.
“Forty-seven threatened wildlife species and 10 threatened plant species occur in the area,” Glenn said.
Landholders in this area are encouraged to contact SGLN on pestanimals@sgln.org.au for further details on how they can be involved in this exciting project, or contact Kristy on 0498 391 233. Properties will be selected based on a strategic baiting approach.
There will be a number of ways to get involved.
These include having bait stations on your property, attending seminars and training courses and participating in logging sightings of pest animals in your area.
Signage will be displayed indicating where baiting is occurring, allowing dog owners to keep their dogs out of these areas.
Pet rabbit owners are encouraged to vaccinate their rabbits as soon as possible against Calici virus.
A community forum will be held on September 8 at the Tarwin Lower Community Centre. This will run from 10am – 1pm and include lunch.
Participants will hear about the fox control methods being used and about the calici release.
Peter Homan will also be showing photographs and videos of wildlife found in the area.
For more information or to register for this free event go to https://foxandrabbitinfo.eventbrite.com.au
SGLN will work with private landholders, community groups and public land managers to reduce the effects of both rabbits and foxes on local flora and fauna.
This will build on existing pest animal projects carried out in the area, including the fox control program the Friends of Venus Bay have been undertaking over the last 10 years.
This project has been funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program and is helping to ensure that Victoria’s biodiversity is healthy, valued and actively cared for.
This project is aligned with the implementation of Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037. Project partners include West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria and Trust for Nature.