Feral herbivore control at North Head

Feral herbivore control at North Head

Rabbit proof fencing to protect Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub.

Rabbits are recognised as a key threat to Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS); rabbit grazing has the potential to dramatically reduce post-fire regeneration. Intensive rabbit grazing after fire may result in long-term changes to ESBS species composition.

Control measures across the headland include baiting and shooting, conducted by NSW NPWS and Harbour Trust.

AWC in conjunction with the North Head Sanctuary Foundation have implemented an integrated research program to evaluate the effectiveness of prescribed burning in combination with feral-proof fencing to reduce grazing pressures by feral rabbits. Results to date have indicated that fencing around newly burnt patches of ESBS can promote regeneration of vegetation and increase its structural and floristic diversity following fire.

Black Rats are also an important feral herbivore (and predator) on North Head.  AWC’s strategy for removing Black Rats is to reintroduce the native Bush Rat and assist it so that it can outcompete the feral Rat.