Poisoned carrots poor prospect as rabbits nibble on greens

PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
The operation will take place across properties bordering the Clutha River in Clyde, including the town’s dog exercise area. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Weather is hampering a large-scale rabbit-control operation on the fringes of urban Clyde, but not for the reasons people might expect.

The operation, on land around Dunstan Golf Club, Dunstan Hospital and surrounds, was scheduled to begin on Monday.

However, with temperatures hovering in the low to mid teens, conditions were not ideal, contractor Peter Preston said.

Mr Preston, who operates Preston Pest Control out of Lake Hawea and Dunedin, said a return to winter was needed for such an operation to succeed.

"It is far too warm for this.

"I want a mega frost."

In warm conditions, rabbits were more likely to eat fresh shoots of grass than the carrot bait laced with anticoagulant poison Pindone that would be used in the operation, he said.

The collaborative rabbit-control operation — co-ordinated by the Otago Regional Council — involves and is funded by landowners, including the Central Otago District Council, the Southern District Health Board, the Department of Conservation and private landowners on the east side of the Clutha River.

Mr Preston said he planned to reassess the situation and monitor the weather and would look to begin the work mid-August.

The operation will take place across properties bordering the Clutha River in Clyde, including the town’s dog exercise area.

The scheduled completion date, by the end of August, remained unchanged, he said.

jared.morgan@odt.co.nz

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