Latest results show low rabbit numbers help Mallee recover

Thursday 20 June, 2019

A recent report has confirmed that ongoing environmental restoration work in key areas of Mallee parks is paying off, with landscape health maintained and gradually improving despite very low rainfall over the last two years.

The key actions that are improving the health of parts of the Mallee landscape are controlling the impact of animals browsing on vegetation and large-scale planting of native plants.

The report into the Semi-arid woodland condition at Hattah-Kulkyne and eastern Murray Sunset national parks, stated there was little evidence of browsing on seedlings, young and adult key tree species and shrubs. This indicates that browsing levels have been successfully reduced and maintained at low levels.

Carefully managed rabbit control works, done in partnership with Traditional Owners, is helping to ensure that rabbit numbers are controlled. As a result, rabbit populations have been kept low with less than one rabbit per spotlight kilometre across 90% of the Mallee parks. This means that erosion is reduced and habitat damage is limited.

Victoria's parks are home to more than 4300 native plants and 948 native animal species. Parks Victoria plays a vital role in protecting native plants and wildlife.

Parks Victoria regularly undertakes dedicated conservation programs, designed to contribute to habitat restoration or predator management across all its parks. These programs include activities such as monitoring of grazer and plant populations, revegetation, spraying, controlled burning, and animal control programs.

These programs are crucial to restoring habitat and improving overall landscape health.

Pest animals such as rabbits can seriously affect habitats, food chains, the ecosystem and the environment.

This project was funded with support of the Victorian government.

Quotes attributable to Parks Victoria Total Grazing Management Coordinator, Brendan Rodgers

“This rabbit control work, along with other restoration work such as revegetation, will help protect, revegetate and enhance habitat for a range of threatened species including Malleefowl, Major Mitchell Cockatoo and White-browed Treecreeper.”

“Overall the report found the semi-arid woodlands have remained stable over the past six years, with some specific areas of improvement.”

“It is important to monitor the results of conservation efforts to ensure that the actions underway are having a positive impact and that we are dealing with the highest priorities.”

“There is still much work to be done into the future in terms of continuing to control browsing animals and revegetation. Parks Victoria looks forward to continuing to work with Traditional Owners and partners to restore the Mallee landscape.”

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Tanya Smith

(03) 8427 2406 Mobile: 0448 572 342

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