The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is an introduced pest animal that causes significant harm to our natural environment by preventing the growth of vegetation through browsing, and erosion issues caused by excavating their extensive burrows.
What Residents Can Do
If you are experiencing issues with pest rabbits the following management tips may help:
- Reduce the cover provided by weeds
- Plant native vegetation to attract native animals. Sutherland Shire Community Nursery
- Where appropriate, fence property to stop rabbits accessing property, electric fences are not permissible
- Do not feed rabbits as it attracts other vermin and may cause animal and human health risks
- House domestic rabbits correctly to prevent escape
- Never release or allow domestic rabbits to roam your property
- Report any illegal shooting or inhumane treatment to police
- Borrow a rabbit trap from council.
Pest Rabbit Control Program
In order to reduce the negative effects pest rabbits have on the environment, Sutherland Shire Council employ an integrated approach to rabbit management that includes the National Parks & Wildlife Service, other councils and bodies and private land owners. Although the pest rabbits ability to reproduce frequently and in high numbers makes it a very difficult animal to control.
Our pest rabbit control program includes:
- Surveys to establish the size and distribution of the rabbit population
- Production of educational material, workshops and media briefings
- Facilitating trapping, warren fumigation, rabbit detection dog’s, habitat modification, harbor removal and shooting and baiting control operations in appropriate circumstances
- Release of biological controls in appropriate circumstances
- Assist with pest rabbit research programs
Due to the Sutherland Shire being a highly urban area with limited suitable sites to safely and legally conduct rabbit control programs, our available options are limited. Although pest animal management is extremely difficult in urban areas Sutherland Shire Council are committed to employing all possible methods of pest rabbit control.
Sutherland Shire Council are aware of rabbits occurring in the Sutherland Shire and do not require reported sightings to assist with the rabbit control program. If you wish to participate in the gathering of helpful data on rabbit populations across the Sutherland Shire please report all rabbit sightings to Rabbit Scan, a pest animal mapping tool that is used to collate data on pest animals across Australia. By reporting to Feral Scan you are greatly assisting government agencies gather valuable data to identify key areas in need of rabbit control and funding.
For more information on Feral Scan visit: https://www.pestsmart.org.au/feralscan/
Report a Rabbit to Feral Scan: https://www.feralscan.org.au/rabbitscan/
If you report to Council we are limited to offering assistance as follows:
- Provide you with some general control advice
- Provide you with a rabbit trap if your site and situation is deemed suitable
Policies and documents
Pest Animal Species and Wildlife Protection Policy