21 June 2022

Rabbit control is getting underway in the Lake Dunstan area to address exploding rabbit numbers.

Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is funding control work on LINZ managed lands around McNulty Inlet and the Kawarau Arm of Lake Dunstan.  

LINZ’s Head of Crown Property, Sonya Wikitera, says left uncontrolled rabbits are serious environmental pests.

“Rabbits eat their way through native vegetation and agricultural land, turning farmland into bare, pitted ground where only weeds survive and cost millions in lost production and control.

“Reducing rabbit numbers will help the survival of native plants, protect plant restoration and reduce erosion in the area.” said Ms Wikitera.

The control work is being managed by LINZ’s delivery partner, Boffa Miskell, with contractors carrying out work at two sites: the Kawarau Arm of Lake Dunstan and the Lake Dunstan foreshore from McNulty Inlet to Dead Mans Point.

Kawarau Arm of Lake Dunstan  

Along the Kawarau Arm (including Richards Beach) rabbits will be controlled by shooting at night using thermal imaging equipment. 

There is a low risk to other animals in the area as the technology allows easy identification of species.

The Lake Dunstan Walking and Cycle Trail from the ponds to Bannockburn Bridge will be closed during the nights control work takes place.   

Staff will be stationed at each public entrance along the Kawarau Arm of the Trail to prevent entry.  

The community and visitors to the region are advised to keep pets and children indoors on the nights control work takes place. 

The control work, which is weather dependent, is expected to take place between 8pm and 2am on two evenings between 27 June and 12 August 2022.

People living in the immediate area will be advised exact dates via a letterbox flier closer to the time.   

Lake Dunstan foreshore from McNulty Inlet to Dead Mans Point

Targeted fumigation of rabbit burrows using Magtoxin will be used to control very high rabbit numbers on the foreshore from McNulty Inlet to Dead Mans Point area around Lake Dunstan.

Control work is expected to take place between 27 June and 12 August 2022.

People living in the immediate area will be advised specific dates via a letter box flier closer to the time.   

Because only rabbit burrows will be targeted in this operation there is low risk to other animals in the area.

As a precaution, pets must be kept under control and children closely supervised in the operational area throughout the control period. 

Warning signs will be installed and removed from the area once the caution period is over – approximately 24 hours.

Further information

  • For information about the upcoming rabbit control contact Boffa Miskell Ltd during office hours on 0800 638 943 or email biosecurity@boffamiskell.co.nz
  • For any queries during control operations phone 027 462 6214

Media enquiries

Email: media@linz.govt.nz or phone: 027 566 5251