The feral animal control program aims to improve and protect biodiversity within the City. The program focuses on feral rabbits and foxes and is undertaken in line with relevant legislation in a humane and ethical manner.
Rabbits are considered pests in WA and can cause extensive environmental damage by degrading bushland, causing erosion and competing with native animals for shelter, food and habitat. Foxes are a declared pest and are destructive to our native animals, and can also cause erosion and degradation issues.
The feral animal control program is carried out in strategically selected City-managed conservation areas and occasionally other areas managed by the City.
The City widely advertises the feral animal control program. Information, details, timing and type of control can be found via:
- Community Newspapers
- City’s Website
- Signage at entrances to and within reserves, prior to and during control periods.
Approved methods and only skilled and licenced contractors are used to carry out the City’s feral animal control program.
Responsible pet owners are an important part of the feral animal control program in both the effectiveness of the program and safety of pets.
- Dogs should be kept on leads in conservation areas
- Cats should not be allowed to roam
- Cats and dogs should be microchipped and registered
- Immunise pet rabbits against RHDV and ensure your rabbit’s hutch has adequate insect screening.
2018/2019 programs may include fox and/or rabbit control at the following reserves.
- Marangaroo Conservation Reserve, Marangaroo
- Koondoola Regional Park, Koondoola
- Landsdale Park, Darch
- Hepburn Park, Landsdale
- Middleton Park, Alexander Heights
- Highview Park, Alexander Heights
- Golfview Park, Gnangara
- Belgrade Park, Wanneroo
- Chicquita Park, Wanneroo
- Franklin Park, Jandabup
- Benmuni Park, Wanneroo
North Coast Ward:
- North Mindarie Foreshore, Mindarie
- Quinns Beach Bushland, Mindarie
- Kinsale Park, Mindarie
- Mindarie Park, Quinns Rocks
- Gumblossom Park, Quinns Rocks
- South Mindarie Foreshore, Mindarie
- Mather Reserve, Neerabup
Calicivirus or Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) only affects rabbits and exists and persists in the natural environment. A controlled booster of the virus can significantly reduce rabbit numbers. The spread of the virus is dependent on the abundance of flies, weather conditions and time of day. It is generally released in mid to late spring but is reliant on expected conditions, including long periods without rain.
Rabbit owners are asked to ensure that their pet rabbits are immunised against RHDV and hutches are insect resistant in the lead up to spring. Rabbit deaths can also occur outside control program timeframes given RHDV can endure in the natural environment and outbreaks may occur that are unrelated to any planned release.
Pinodone may be strategically used in selected reserves or sections of reserves when the risk to non-target species can be minimalised. Reserves are surveyed prior to Pindone oats being laid and monitored throughout the duration of the program. Entries to the reserves will be signposted if Pindone is in use.
Rabbit warren control may be deemed suitable and if safe, warrens may either be fumigated or mechanically collapsed. Entry and exit points are carefully assessed for evidence of any native animal usage before destruction.
City-contracted animal pest management specialists use soft foot hold traps to control foxes. These traps are designed to minimise the risk of injury to any animal caught in the trap. Traps are regularly checked and strategically placed within an area to minimise risk to humans and other non-target species, including domestic dogs.
The City does not use baits to control foxes.
The majority of control is undertaken in summer and autumn. Warning signs are installed by the City and contractor at entry points to reserves where trapping is taking place. It is important to keep dogs on leads in reserves and cats at home during these times.