Bunny boom no joke

IT’S a classic old joke - rabbits are like calculators because they both multiply.

But escalating rabbit numbers in the area are no laughing matter for the Gympie Regional Council’s Lands Protection Unit, who now have to pay $90 a vial for the calicivirus, previously made available free of charge to council.

As a result of the increased rabbit activity, Lands Protection staff purchased more cage traps, which are available for landholders to borrow and capture rabbits. These animals will then be injected by staff with calicivirus and released back into the wild population.

Booming rabbit numbers are a problem right across the country as the pest becomes increasingly resistant to calicivirus.

International experts will spend the next few months in Australia to help scientists find a new biological way to control rabbit populations.

A geneticist from Berlin will analyse DNA samples from both dead and live rabbits to see how and why they’re becoming resistant to the disease.

Scientists are trying to understand how the virus is evolving within Australia.

Gympie Times


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