Assistance available to control rabbits and lovegrass

CONTROL: Rabbit sitting outside warrens in an Eyre Peninsula paddock. Picture: Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula
CONTROL: Rabbit sitting outside warrens in an Eyre Peninsula paddock. Picture: Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula

Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula (NREP) staff are available should farmers in drought-affected areas of the region need additional support to bolster their rabbit and weed control programs.

Natural Resources management programs manager Seb Drewer said NREP had received funding from the federal government's 'Pest Animal and Weed Management in Drought-Affected Areas' program which would support activities to reduce weed incursions and reduce grazing pressure by rabbits.

Mr Drewer said the pest management program included staying on top of rabbit control while numbers were at low levels, as well as preventing further spread of African lovegrass in areas most affected by the drought in Eastern and Western Eyre Peninsula.

"Rabbit control over the past few years has been greatly assisted by the release of the second strain of calicivirus and has seen rabbit numbers fall to historically low levels," he said.

"With numbers being so low, now is the perfect time to undertake warren destruction activities to limit the opportunity for rabbits to re-establish.

"To assist land mangers make the most of the current low rabbit numbers we invite expression of interests for grants of up to $20,000 for land managers who are wanting to complete warren destruction on their property."

Mr Drewer said African lovegrass was also an emerging issue on Eyre Peninsula which impacted both productive farm land and native vegetation.

He said NREP had conducted trials at Waddikee last year to determine the most appropriate control methods for African lovegrass and information gathered would assist with the ongoing control in the current program.

"We would like to hear from landholders who have African lovegrass on their property and are interested in undertaking a control program, in conjunction with NREP," he said.

Incentives of up to $20,000 will be offered to land managers based on the input that they are prepared to contribute.

Land managers are encouraged to contact the NREP centre at Ceduna on 8625 3144 or offices at Streaky Bay on 8626 1108 or Cleve on 8628 2077 for more information, while they can express interest by emailing DEW.NREPAdmin@sa.gov.au or visiting www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/eyrepeninsula.