FW: Protect Kellys Swamp

To: "Julian Robinson" <>
Subject: FW: Protect Kellys Swamp
From: "martin butterfield" <>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 06:48:46 +1000
It is good to hear that at least the problem is recognised.  I have a memory of reading of the way the old timers used to deal with rabbits which involved putting a perimeter net around quite a large area and then using dogs to stampede the rabbits into the nets.  That would seem to be feasible for Kellys but I don't know if people with the required skills still exist.


On Thu, Sep 18, 2008 at 9:24 PM, Julian Robinson <> wrote:
re the rabbits at Kellys.  I happened to speak to a couple of passing rangers the other day, one of whom turned out to be in charge of a project to do something about the rabbits at Kellys.  He said they had finally received money in this FY to carry out a rabbit reduction program but unsurprisingly the problem is how to carry it out.  Candidate methods are shooting, ripping the burrows, dogs then gas into burrows, and poison.  None of these is easy to do at Kellys and so far there has been no decision as to what to do. Ripping burrows or blocking burrows and poison would not be effective there because many/most of the rabbits live on the surface under the shrubbery and not in burrows.  Baits are problematical because of the range of wildlife and feeding habits that have to be protected from accidental access to the baits. I gathered that even with the money nothing is likely to happen until next calendar year at the earliest, even assuming they can settle on a method that is practical and politically acceptable.

Julian Robinson

At 07:54 PM 18/09/2008, Alastair Smith wrote:
I am very concerned with the increased visitation to Kellys Swamp and the effect that this is having on the bird life. Quite obviously the development that is going on in nearby Kingston will see much greater numbers of visitors in the future, many of who appear to have no idea that Kellys Swamp is such an important wetland for waterbirds and waders.
In the past, we have seen evidence of canoeing and dog exercising in and around Kellys, and on father's day Sunday afternoon I was frustrated while birding by people walking in front of the hides and flushing the birds. There was a game of cricket going on in the grass area near the southern end of the swamp and children riding scooters at the north. It would appear that the decision to cut the grass in front of the hides and on the banks of the swamps has meant that people feel comfortable walking right up to the water's edge, which completely defeats the purpose of the hides and screening plants.
As a conservation organisation may I strongly suggest that COG makes representation to Environment ACT to have them desist from the practice of mowing as this seems to be the major catalyst for people's behaviour and is only a relatively recent practice. Also could they consider signage to advise the casual visitor to be mindful of the birds and to use the paths when moving between hides. Furthermore, many of the screening trees and plants have died in recent years and I have seen no effort to replace these plants and rabbit numbers are again on the increase with the damage that this brings. To date I have seen no evidence of a baiting program. Perhaps the government's efforts could be better utilised here.
While I am happy to write as an individual, I think that in this case the collective voice of COG needs to be heard.

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