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The City of Canterbury Bankstown has been selected as one of 640 areas to trial a new strain of calicivirus, as part of a nationwide program to better control the number of wild rabbits.
Administrator Richard Colley said the trial will be conducted, early next year, by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
“This new strain only targets wild rabbits and is not a threat to people or other animals,” Mr Colley said.
“However, it is very important the owners of any pet rabbits have them vaccinated as part of their routine vaccination program, at least one month before the calicivirus is released in March.”
The calicivirus will be released around reserves in the Milperra area, including Newland Reserve, where Council has had success in minimising rabbit numbers by 80 percent, using the poison Pindone.
The NSW Government believes the new strain of calicivirus will prove even more effective.
The City of Canterbury Bankstown has also had success in reducing fox numbers this year, working with other neighbouring councils.
More than 100 foxes have been removed across the southern Sydney region.
To report sightings of rabbits and foxes, visit www.feralscan.org.au.
Unlike rabbits and foxes, the Australian White Ibis is a native animal and a protected species. However, councils, including the City of Canterbury Bankstown, continue to monitor and manage their numbers, particularly in urban areas.
For a number of years, colonies of White Ibis have been regularly congregating at Lake Gillawarna but, in recent times, more have been observed in the Bankstown CBD.
Council has been trialling methods, such as using spotlights and flashing lights to deter them from resting in the area.
Officers also applied for, and were granted, permission by National Parks and Wildlife Services to remove 60 eggs and five nests in palm trees in Bankstown Plaza, and trim back branches. Follow up pruning is planned for March.
7/12/2016 8:38 AM