Rabbits prosper in losing battle
LOOKING down the barrel of his rifle, the reflection of a rabbit’s gaze bounces back at a Dalveen property owner.
Turners Creek property owner Jim Mitchell knows he is in the designated ‘clean’ zone but there is no mistaking the pair of eyes or the scratch marks in his garden seen at night.
“The poo pebbles in this hole – or dung-hole – is made by the king-pin boss cocky rabbit,” Mr Mitchell said.
The third generation Dalveen man has lived in the area for about 65 years and said he has seen rabbit since 1988.
“Since the 1990s the rabbit-proof fence has been neglected and there’ve been holes even I could crawl through.
“It’s too late now to totally get rid of them but if there’s a united front, we can give it a go but they’re too far gone to play catch up.
“It’s up to landholders, councils and government to pitch in. You can’t build a road and leave things lying around for rabbits to live under.”
Mr Mitchell said the key to reducing rabbit numbers was to destroy their habitat.
“They will live under an old shed, under old cars with the wheels taken off,” he said. “Anything covered and dry.”
The furry critter sightings at the Mitchell home is so common, the rabbit has cemented its inclusion during traditional Christmas celebrations.
“As soon as day breaks, the grandchildren go out and check the traps and I’ve taught them how to set the traps, kill and skin them. They’ve got to learn,” Mr Mitchell said.
Wife Del Mitchell has spent most of her life in the district, moving from The Summit to Dalveen when she married.
“The war waged against the rabbit had been lost,” Mrs Mitchell said.
“We sometimes eat rabbit now but I had so many as a kid. We used to trap and eat the good ones.
“The problem with rabbits is that they’ll eat everything to the ground. They’re not native so all the plants, flowers and shrubs are cut down and can’t recover.
“Our native plants and animals can’t compete.”
What do you think? Contact Eloise Handley on 4660 1316 or email eloise.handley@war- wickdailynews.com.au
Ranger Road, Warwick