You are here

Home > About > News and media releases > Ferrets and Firearms Campaign on Werribee Park Rabbits

News

Ferrets and Firearms Campaign on Werribee Park Rabbits

Tuesday 27 August, 2013

The resident rabbits of Werribee Park are under pressure from two very different teams of hunters.

One is a group of Karen refugees who are volunteers at the park, and the other is the Sporting Shooters Association. Using their pet ferrets the young Karen boys have flushed out more than 80 rabbits in the mansion’s historic gardens so far. The shooters, who’ve been working at night, have bagged well over a hundred rabbits from the Rose garden and outer paddocks.  

“Using ferrets is a great way to get rid of the rabbits in our historic garden beds where we certainly can’t use more traditional methods of warren destruction such as blasting the burrows,” says Ranger in Charge James Brincat. “The Sporting Shooters’ approach is also proving very effective; they’re using night vision sights, short range ammunition and getting around in a silent golf buggy so they can sneak up on the rabbits.”

“The combination of these two methods has great potential to really get on top of the rabbit problem, and it’s just before their breeding season,” says Parks Victoria horticulturalist Adam Smith. “They are constantly eating and digging up all our new plants and flowers in the historic garden beds. Poisoning with baited carrots around the mansion is out of the question given the number of visitors we get here, and digging out the burrows in the historic garden beds by hand is very difficult.”

“This campaign will continue in the outer park areas as well as in the formal gardens,” says James Brincat. “We’re backing up the ferreting and shooting with a baiting program in certain areas and always destroying burrows where it’s possible. Our long term aim is to put a very big hole in the population of these destructive animals in our park any way we can.”

A similar joint project is now being planned for the Point Cook Metropolitan Park.

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

Westerfolds parkrun

30 Aug 2014 8:00am-9:00am

parkrun is free, weekly, 5km timed run that is open to everyone - walkers, runners, families and dogs are all welcome! Westerfolds parkrun occurs every Saturday morning. We're based near the main carpark off the Fitzsimons Lane entrance, and the course is run entirely on sealed paths within the park.

Click to view RSS Feed

Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

31 Aug 2014 9:30am-10:20am

A superb loop walk that winds through woodland, wet heathland & along boardwalks. Along the way you will encounter a variety of flora including hakeas, wattles, tea-trees, mistletoe, swamp bush pea and button grass. This guided walk is run by Friends of Bunyip State Park.

Click to view RSS Feed

Grampians Conservation Explorer

1 Sep 2014 8:30am - 4 Sep 2014 5:30pm

We will take you behind the scenes on this exclusive, small group adventure as you work alongside a Parks Victoria Ranger to 'track and protect' the elusive Brush-tailed Phascogales, which are on Victoria's threatened species list. You will sample some of the region's best wines, see ancient Aboriginal rock art…

Click to view RSS Feed

Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

2 Sep 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Enjoy the fresh air of this beautiful park and get an insight into the park’s fascinating history, flora and fauna. This free guided walk run by Friends of Tarra Bulga National Park will lead you across the famous Corrigan Suspension Bridge which stretches through the rainforest canopy, and on either…