People ‘power’ rabbit action across Victoria

People power and collaboration has proven to be one of the most effective methods in achieving positive action against one of Australia’s worst vertebrate pests – the European rabbit.

A four-year project funded through the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA CRC) and the Victorian Government has showcased the importance of collaboration between community groups and governments to achieve effective and sustainable action towards rabbit management.

The project team, based in Victoria, set up the Victorian Rabbit Action Network – with the aim of supporting community leadership and action on rabbits.

CEO for the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (formerly IA CRC), Andreas Glanznig said that this long-term project was about bringing community voices to the table, alongside government and industry, in deciding how we invest in rabbit management.

“Rabbits don’t stop at fence lines, and if we are to make any serious dent in the population a coordinated community-led response is needed.

“We know there isn’t one silver bullet solution to rabbit management and by setting up and engaging with community groups around Victoria, the project team was able to boost expertise in the sector and enhance knowledge around best-practice management.

“We now have an army of rabbit management experts within the community and the initial evaluation indicates that knowledge about rabbit management has been strengthened with this program in place, and that forming these networks have been one of the keys in seeing positive action taken towards pest rabbits,” Mr Glanznig said.

Based on the success of VRAN, other jurisdictions across Australia have also expressed interest in setting up similar networks and it is hoped that many of the activities developed through this project will be rolled out on a national level.