If you would like to be involved as a monitoring site in the proposed release of the K5 variant of RHDV, then please follow these steps:
1. Contact your neighbours
The project team is looking for groups of landholders – if you are a landholder wanting to be a release site, the first step should be to contact your neighbours. You can use existing groups for this process, such as your local Landcare group, Catchment Management Authority, Local Land Services or other Natural Resource Management group in your area.
It is important to note that different jurisdictions have different regulations around handling and releasing the virus and you will need to make sure your group contains and authorised person to do this. For example in NSW, this would be your local land services (LLS) officer.
2. Identify a group coordinator
Once you have your group, it is important to identify one person as the group coordinator. Where an existing group has been used, it may be best to use the existing group coordinator (LLS ranger, CMA officer etc). This person will be the point of contact with the project team and will be responsible for collating group data and samples.
3. Determine what type of site you want to be
There are two types of sites: Release sites and Broad-scale sites. Any site can be a Release site, however there are some minimum requirements for Broad-scale sites.
Broad-scale sites: undertake a three-night spotlight count with a vehicle using standard methods. The transect must be a minimum of 1km and cover at least 25% of the site where release is to take place (such as the paddock). Samples also need to be taken from 20 shot rabbits prior to release.
Release sites: undertake some form of assessment of their rabbit population prior to release (eg spotlight count (walked or driven), dung count). No shot samples are required and there are no minimum site requirements.
All sites are required to collect dead rabbits (where possible) after the release of K5 and redo their rabbit population assessment in the same manner four weeks after the release. There can be a mix of both Release and Broad-scale sites within the one group.
4. Contact the project team
Once your group is coordinated and the site types determined, the group coordinator should register your interest with the project team by filling out the following form:
5. Indicative timeline
- When does the EOI period close? – 31 May 2016
- When will sites be selected? – mid 2016
- When do I undertake pre-release sampling? – to be confirmed
- When do I undertake post-release sampling? 4 weeks after you release the virus (dates to be confirmed)
- How much land will 1 vial treat? – 150ha (10kg of carrot)
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