Feral rabbit populations are increasing on the North Shore and cause major environmental damage, including the destruction of native vegetation, sportsfields, reserves and gardens.
According to Local Land Services, feral rabbits cost Australia over $200 million in damage each year.
Report a rabbit sighting
You can help us monitor the movements of rabbits by reporting sightings online.
Current feral rabbit control programs
RHDV 1 K5 Calicivirus release - March 2020
Council is partnering with Greater Sydney Local Land Services, other Councils on Sydney's North Shore, and private land owners, to release the RHDV calicivirus.
Spotlight surveys, information from Feral Scan and reports from residents help to identify rabbit activity. With this information we can be certain we are releasing the virus where it is needed the most. The virus is spread by insects vectors such as bush flies and mosquitoes and direct contact between rabbits.
Gordon Golf Course.
Killara Park (Bert Oldfield Oval).
Quarry Masons Forest.
Alan Small Oval.
East Lindfield Park (Wellington Oval).
Bannockburn Oval, Pymble.
Comenarra Creek Reserve (Combe to Yanko Asset Protection Zone).
Cnr Griffith Avenue and Calga Street and Koongara Road.
Athena Avenue Reserve.
Cambourne Avenue Asset Protection Zone.
St Ives Chase
Bradley Park (Cove to Canoon Asset Protection Zone).
Past feral rabbit control programs
Read about Council's past feral rabbit control programs here (pdf. 96KB)
Important notice for owners of pet rabbits
Pet rabbits can be protected by having them vaccinated at your vet or by housing pet rabbits in a fly and mosquito-proof enclosure. All other animals and humans will not be affected by the virus.
FAQs of the RHDV1 K5virus can be found here
Learn more about different strains of virus and vaccinations here
What about my pet rabbit
Please contact your local vet for further advice.
Rabbit Management Plan 2013 - 2017 (pdf. 88KB)
Feral Rabbit brochure (pdf. 2MB)
Frequently Asked Questions
RHDV K5 product details (pdf. 695KB)
RHDV pesticide control order (pdf. 188KB)
Control options for private properties
In terms of keeping rabbits out of your property, the best option is to undertake fencing and attach rabbit netting to an existing fence around the area requiring protection. Most fencing contractors should be able to undertake these works at a relatively low cost. In addition to fencing, Council recommends that a private pest control company, specialising in vertebrate pest control, is contacted to assist in eradicating rabbits on your land.
Other options include:
- Spraying your plants with a liquid deterrent made from boiled garlic and chilli or spreading blood and bone fertilizer, both techniques will have to be repeated after rain.
- Poisoning with Pindone oat bait:
This is a product that can be used by residents in accordance with the product label. A condition of this product is that it can only be used in properties large than 1000sqm. Properties less than 1000sqm will need to get an off label permit from Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). This control technique increases the potential to harm non-target native animals like bandicoots, so currently it’s not a method that would be encouraged if you have bandicoots in your yard or you live next to bushland areas (it an offensive to harm native wildlife NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1979). Council is happy to provide technical assists for residents who want to use this method. Learn more here.
- Rabbit warren fumigation:
This method can only be done by licenced Pest Controllers and involves releasing a poisonous gas into the rabbit warren. It can be done on private land and is not limited to lot size. The problem is that many of the rabbit infestations in Ku-ring-gai are scrub rabbits, meaning that they live in the bush as opposed to warrens.
- Cage trapping and euthanasia:
This method involved using a cage trap to capture rabbits and then they can be taken to an approved vet to be euthanised. Council has traps which can be borrowed and the cost of euthanasia is covered by Council. This program has been temporarily suspended due COVID-19 restrictions for Veterinarians. The NSW Vet Board and Minister of Agriculture has advised that this is not considered as an essential service.