RabbitScan is a nation-wide challenge for community and schools to help scientists map where rabbits are, by asking people to ‘scan’ their landscape (school, farm, parkland, roadside reserves, ovals etc) for signs of rabbits and their damage, and to load their results online – during RabbitScan Month in May 2009 and following. It’s being called the Great Australian ‘rabbit census’.
Recent research from the IACRC suggests that the Australian community rates feral rabbits in the top 3 pests facing Australia and that over 80% of Australians are keen to be involved in community programs to reduce rabbit threats and impacts (IACRC Community Awareness Survey Oct 2008, Fisher and Cribb).
HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO GET INVOLVED.
- THE QUICK WAY IS TO SIMPLY LET US KNOW BY SMS OR EMAIL WHEN AND WHERE AND HOW MANY RABBITS YOU SEE – SEND ANY TIME.
- THE MORE INTERESTING EXERCISE IS TO REGISTER AT ANY TIME) AND GET DIRECT ACCESS TO THE RABBITSCAN GOOGLE MAP DATA CAPTURE TOOL, AVAILABLE FROM 1 MAY 09WHERE YOU CAN LOCATE YOUR SITE AND LOAD YOUR SIGHTINGS DIRECTLY
- ALL IT TAKES IS A FEW HOURS: FIRSTLY IN THE FIELD LOOKING,COUNTING AND LOGGING YOUR FINDINGS INTO THE RABBITSCAN WEBSITE AND TELLING US WHAT YOU’VE NOTICED IN YOUR COMMUNITY ABOUT RABBITS.
- WE’LL DO THE REST AND LET YOU KNOW THE RESULTS.
- Select a local site (e.g. a roadside reserve, park, school yard, farm, National Park) and count and document the signs of rabbits (actual rabbits seen, or warrens and burrows seen or scats (droppings) seen at that site
- Look for the number of actual rabbits (i.e. counting how many rabbits can be seen on a walk or drive around the site (best done early or later in the day or at night) and the damage they are doing in an area. Damage might be seen on plant stems or tree bark which has been chewed, or areas where all plants have been chewed or eaten away
- Record your findings and then load them onto the RabbitScan website or send them in by post, email, phone SMS message or email; your data and that from other groups right across the country will build a national map of rabbits and their threats to Australia’s biodiversity and productivity.