Rabbits invade Docklands
02 Aug 2011
By Amelia Loucas
There are wild rabbits in Docklands. A colony of feral rabbits has dug itself in along Moonee Ponds Creek under the Bolte Bridge.
Docklands Studios CEO Rod Allan believes that rabbits have been living here for the past two to three years, if not longer.
But Mr Allan says the number of rabbits has greatly increased recently.
“Apparently they breed like rabbits,” he joked. “The most we’ve seen at any one time would be about a dozen. Occasionally we see them running across the parking lot, in the middle of a meeting.”
“We think they’re aspiring to be in the film industry. They’re attracted to the glamour of it all,” Mr Allan said.
Superficially harmless, the rabbits burrow in the grass areas of the studios and they have spread their area of operation to Quay Park at NewQuay West.
The studio staff have no real problem with the rabbits. In fact, they find them entertaining. There are even jokes about rabbit-watching-time by the windows. However, it may be an entirely different case for other industries.
Primary Industries Department spokesperson Michael Rosier, said: “There is no specific reason for the rabbits wanting to live in Docklands. Basically they’re highly invasive animals, which is why they’re labelled Australia’s most serious pests, and will establish themselves anywhere they can.”
He also warns of the rapid spread we will see in the near future.
“There is a hierarchy in the way in which the rabbits operate. Dominant males will mate with the dominant females and the non-dominant rabbits will leave the warren and establish their own herd. Once this is done they will become very territorial,” he said.
“During the recent years there has been an increase in rainfall and the survival of young rabbits has greatly increased. Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act of 1994 there is a legal responsibility for the land owners, public or private, to eradicate the pests,” Mr Rosier said.
Rabbits do have a nasty habit of disrupting entire eco-systems and stripping land of all vegetation. Though the current population of these creatures is too low to cause any real harm, it will grow.
In the Docklands’ case the Crown owns the infested land, which means the State Government is responsible for managing the pests, preventing their spread and, as far as possible, eradicating them. But, so far, the Government has done nothing.
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