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This update is part of the Healthier Landscapes campaign: improving the health of our land through integrated rabbit management.
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RHD Boost Update is an initiative of the healthier landscapes campaign, produced by the Invasive Animals CRC to keep you informed about the progress and national release of RHDV1 K5 to boost rabbit biocontrol.

Meet our National Rabbit Facilitator, Michael Reid

Michael Reid is the Invasive Animals CRC National Rabbit Facilitator and is helping people think differently about how to manage this invasive species. He is passionate about communities, government and industry collaborating to test new ideas about how we can work together, and most importantly, get some on-ground results.

Michael believes that the big gains to be made in rabbit management over the next ten years will be defined by the way communities work together to tackle the problem.

“We have a variety of tools to manage rabbits, but it’s about implementing these tools, working together, and innovative and resourceful ways we can engage the whole community to manage one of Australia’s worst pest animals ” Michael said.

Michael is working with communities to re-frame rabbit management as a social issue, rather then just purely a technical problem saying, "the gains and innovation in rabbit management will come when people are working together in a sustained approach to manage this pest”.

As part of his national role, Michael has been piloting a new collaborative approach to integrated rabbit management which focuses on influencing the ‘people side’ of rabbit management. The program is developing a strong reputation across the state. To date it has facilitated a Rabbit Leadership Program, a three day course focused on building the next generation of rabbit expertise. A mentor and learning network has also been established to provide ongoing support and a point of contact.

“Learning is not just a one off thing; people continue to learn about rabbit management with experience. We aren’t trying to recreate the wheel and are focused on ensuring we build on past experiences,” Michael finished by saying.

A Rabbit Management Conference was also convened in Melbourne last year which attracted over 150 participants from across Australia and New Zealand. More recently, the program is piloting a Small Grants Program, supporting innovative projects across Victoria and now plans are underway to develop a set of protocols to support other states and territories interested in applying this holistic approach.

For more information on the Rabbit Leadership Program and to implement this program in your jurisdiction please visit www.rabbitaction.com. If you'd like to make contact with Michael simply reply to this email and we'll put you in touch.

The Victorian Action Rabbit Network

The Victorian Rabbit Action Network is a community-led approach to rabbit management in Victoria – it has been successful in providing leadership and mentorship to the next generation of land managers. Watch the short YouTube video clip to find out more. [ Watch here.... ]

Expressions of Interest to be involved in the RHD Boost project still open

Over 300 expressions of interest have been received through our ‘get involved’ online portal to be a RHDV1 K5 release site. The RHD Boost research team are still requesting EOIs and welcome land managers, councils, community groups and farmers to apply. 
 
The period to submit an EOI is open until 31 May 2016. If you have already submitted an EOI, your submission is still valid and will be considered after the EOI period closes later this year. After this, the research team will strategically select sites mid-2016 and notify successful applicants. [ Apply via the link here....

Wildlife research highlights need for long-term rabbit biocontrol strategy

The importance of a long term rabbit biocontrol strategy is clear with a recent study showing a number of Australian threatened small mammals making a comeback in the South Australian desert due to ongoing rabbit management, including biocontrol.  [ Read the full article ... ].

Track pre- and post-release rabbit activity through RabbitScan

RabbitScan is a free resource for landholders, the community and pest controllers to record and map rabbit activity, warrens, rabbit damage, and control activities in their local area. Use data recorded in your local area to help decide where to undertake rabbit control. We encourage ever landholder to record rabbit activity on their property before and after the release of rabbit biocontrol, and to record observations of disease at the time of virus release. Stay tuned for more details about this RabbitScan resource. [ www.rabbitscan.org.au ]

Recent online media coverage

Delayed release for new calici strain, as consultation process continue
ABC Rural - January 12, 2016 

Rabbit virus release pending 
Queensland Country Life - January 12, 2016
 
Virus helps wage war on rabbits
Gatton Star - January 26, 2016

Site search for release of new rabbit control virus
Donnybrooke-Bridgetown Mail - February 3, 2016 

Naracoorte and Lucindale information sessions for rabbit control
The Naracoorte Herald - February 3, 2016


Rabbit busting ahead of virus strain release
Bendigo Advertiser - February 9, 2016 


Rabbit Biocontrol Trials
West Australian - February 11, 2016 


Local farmers to benefit from revitalised rabbit control method
Science WA - February 15, 2016 


Decision Support Systems for rabbit management 
Get Broadcare - February 15, 2016 

Virus lifts hopes for better rabbit control
The Standard - February 16, 2016
Have a question? Visit our RHDV K5: Frequently asked questions page
Copyright © 2015 Invasive Animals CRC

RHD Boost Update is administered by the the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Building 22, University of Canberra, University Drive South, BRUCE  ACT  2617
Ph: +61 2 6201 2887  |   contact@invasiveanimals.com

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