Best noses in business sniff out feral rabbits

Steve Austin with rangers, Jim and Mel

Steve Austin with rangers, Jim and Mel

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is home to a protected population of endangered mala (rufous hare-wallaby), a species that is no longer found in the wild. Our mala enclosure is surrounded by a cat and fox-proof fence but rabbits have become a problem. They compete with our mala for food and shelter, which jeopardises the future of the population.

In 2014 we performed a blitz with staff from across the Department of the Environment. We spent two weeks locating and fumigating warrens which made a huge difference. We also rabbit-proofed the fence.  Our rangers are continuously working hard in the mala paddock to control rabbits using a variety of techniques. Ongoing work involves Calicivirus releases, fumigating burrows and installing rabbit bait-stations. We have also used trained rabbit detection dogs to help us.

Thanks to all this hard work, rabbit numbers in the mala enclosure are now very low. We will keep striving to eradicate rabbits completely so our mala population can continue to grow.

Kerrie, natural and cultural resources manager, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

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