Back in May (RHD Boost Update 13), we reported a 42% average reduction in wild rabbit numbers. This result was based on some preliminary data which was received from 52 release sites where the new Korean strain of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV1 K5), was released.
Since then, the RHD Boost team have been further crunching the numbers and after receiving pre and post count data from almost 200 participating release sites, we are pleased to confirm and report that this number remains the same, and a 42% decrease in wild rabbit numbers has been observed since the release of RHDV1 K5 across the country, in March 2017.
Well done to all of those who have contributed to the effort to maintain Australia’s agricultural productivity and environmental biodiversity through the management of rabbits. We hope that the information provided on best practice control techniques also allowed you to capitalise on the release and reduce your rabbit numbers even further.
Rabbit biocontrol can be most beneficial if applied as part of an integrated and complementary pest management approach. You can view our series of videos best practice rabbit control and conventional control techniques via PestSmart – www.pestsmart.org.au/pestsmart-rabbit-control-video-series
RHDV1 K5 officially released at 382 locations nationwide
373 community-run release sites
9 intensively monitored releases sites
Some registered sites did not release due to low rabbit numbers, timing or poor weather conditions.
42% observed reduction in rabbit numbers post release (based on data from 191 release sites)
Through laboratory analysis, RHDV1 K5 rabbit deaths confirmed in every state and territory, except NT (red dots on the map, purple dots are confirmed RHDV2 rabbit deaths)