Rabbits are recognised as Australia?s worst vertebrate pest (Williams et al. 1995). They have occurred in the more arid parts of the Northern Territory for more than a century, where they cause economic losses to pastoral production and significant environmental damage through habitat modification and direct competition with native fauna for food and shelter (Edwards et al. 2004).
Over the years, considerable resources have been dedicated to the development of appropriate techniques and procedures for rabbit control in the Northern Territory. Greatest success has been achieved by using a combination of methods including biological, chemical and physical control techniques (Dobbie 1997). The establishment of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) in the Northern Territory in 1966 has greatly enhanced rabbit management programs. This disease caused a dramatic decline in the rabbit population (Edwards et al. 2002a) which has greatly improved the effectiveness of the more conventional chemical and physical control techniques in reducing rabbit impacts to acceptable levels.
The future goal is to ensure that existing techniques are used safely and effectively, that new techniques are developed as necessary to enhance rabbit management, and that all stakeholders recognise the need for rabbit management in the Northern Territory and participate cooperatively.
|Author||Northern Territory Government|
|Institution||Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts|
|Control method||Biological Control|