Parkies join forces to blitz harmful rabbits at Uluru

Members of Parks Australia’s first official ‘Rabbit Blitz team’ have returned to their day jobs and it is feeling a little quiet here. Volunteers from across the Department of Environment recently joined us at Uluru to help with the eradication of feral rabbits that were over-running our mala enclosure.

What we achieved together was miraculous, particularly given the extreme heat we were working in! Over just two weeks we mapped and fumigated every warren in every section of the paddock, completed a paddock-wide calicivirus release and also finished half the reinforced fencing work as an extra protection against reinvasion from the outside.

Together we combed the entire 170-hectare paddock searching for every last warren.

The mala is a small endangered wallaby that’s no longer found in the wild. Our mala enclosure is surrounded by a cat and fox-proof fence but rabbits had become a problem. The rabbits threatened to compete with our mala for food, which could have jeopardised the future of the mala population.

Carrots were treated with calicivirus

All the carrots were eaten and we found a dead rabbit just outside the fence which we think died of calicivirus - so that is a good sign. The team has continued on with the fencing and I’ll be completing the post-blitz rabbit population monitoring next week.

I would love to tell you we are not seeing any fresh tracks, but we are still seeing a few. It will be up to us now to continue to hammer at the rabbit population that’s left.

The mala survives in a few feral-proof enclosures scattered around different parts of the continent and some islands off the West Australian coast.

Kerrie, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park