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Coastal rabbit control to begin this week

Coastal rabbit control to begin this week
Monday 13 June, 2005

An annual rabbit control programme to protect Coast Care plantings will kick off in the Bay of Plenty this week.

Environment Bay of Plenty and the region’s coastal district councils have set up the operation to protect native dune plants put in by Coast Care volunteers. Because it involves using poisoned baits, local authorities want to remind beach users and nearby residents to look out for warning signs so they can keep pets and young children out of harm’s way.

Weather permitting, poison bait will begin to be laid from Tuesday, 14 June at various planting locations from Opape, in the eastern Bay of Plenty, to Tauranga. The operation will be ongoing until October, with contractors treating each site at least twice between periods of bad weather. Rabbit numbers will be monitored at Christmas.

Environment Bay of Plenty pest animal officer David Paine says some residents may have been contacted earlier by Environment Bay of Plenty staff. Others will receive notification by mail. Signs will be erected at all treatment sites before the poison baits are laid.

Mr Paine says it is important people heed the warning notices. “They will need to supervise their children and keep pets out of the area. If they’re walking dogs on the beach, they should keep them on a lead so they don’t run up into the dunes and into treatment areas.”

The bait will be easily recognisable, Mr Paine says. Pre-feed pellets are brown and cylindrical while the toxic Pindone bait will be dyed bright green for easy recognition and to discourage birds. If you suspect your pet has eaten either Pindone bait or poisoned rabbits seek veterinary care immediately. Poison symptoms may include pale gums, difficulty in moving, and bleeding in severe cases.

Poison will be laid in sand dunes in these areas:
- Moturiki (Leisure Island)
- Papamoa – Sunbrae Grove to the Papamoa Surf Club
- Pikowai Camping Ground
- Murphy’s Motor Camp, Matata
- Thornton Beach – Thornton River mouth and motor camp area
- Coastlands beach
- Ohiwa to Bryan’s Beach and the Waiotahi Spit
- Waiotahi Drifts to the Waioeka River mouth
- Tirohanga Beach west of the Tirohanga Motor Camp
- Waiaua Spit near Opape


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