Jacksons Creek & Emu Bottom Wetlands Rabbit Control

Pest control work in priority areas with best value outcomes

The vast and deeply incised river valley of the Jacksons Creek through Sunbury and the surrounding volcanic hills are a landscape of immense environmental and cultural importance. Numerous sites of cultural significance are located throughout this landscape including the Sunbury Rings which has been a key place of interaction between people and the land for thousands of years. The Jacksons Creek valley and its wetlands also form some of the most iconic natural features in the Maribyrnong catchment, and provide important refugia for species such as the Growling Grass frog.

This proposed rabbit control project is a Biodiversity Response Planning (BRP) generated proposal which can contribute to the goals and targets of Protecting Victoria’s Environment- Biodiversity 2037 (Bio2037).

This proposal has utilised Strategic Management Prospects (SMP) modelling to consider cost-benefit effectiveness aiming to maximise and enhance biodiversity benefits of the project within the landscape.

The proposal builds on prior rabbit control works delivered by the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA with State Government funding

The project will contribute to the Bio2037 target of 4 million hectares of control of pest herbivores in priority locations. This project has a cost-benefit ranking in the top 10% for rabbit control across the whole state.

The project area centres on the new Jacksons Creek Regional Parkland (which includes Emu Bottom Wetland Reserve and Holden Flora and Fauna Reserve) but may expand to other nearby priority sites.

This project is situated mainly within the Central Grassy Woodlands Plain. The map shows the previous work area (blue) and the indicative project area (SMP modelling showing the top 10% (orange) and 3% (red) areas for rabbit control).

It will involve a partnership approach with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Narrap Team including training and skill development so their workers can undertake destructive rabbit control with machinery. A cultural heritage assessment of the entire parkland may also be a first step.

Themes and Local Areas

Primary Theme:Native Vegetation
Other Themes:Waterways, Native Animals, Soil Health, Sustainable Agriculture, Traditional Owners, Communities
Primary Local Area:Macedon Ranges, Hume, Mitchell & Whittlesea
Other Local Areas:
Project location:Priority areas around Sunbury, Jacksons Creek and Emu Bottom wetlands
Scale of the project:Local
New or continuing work:Building on previous work

Project partners

Lead organisation:Melbourne Water
Key partners:Local Landcare and community groups, Landholders
Registered Aboriginal Party/s relevant to the project or its area:Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation

Investment opportunities

Opportunities for investors within this project start from:$$ (Tens of thousands of dollars)
Estimated scale of investment for full project implementation:$$$ (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)
Estimated timeframe for full project implementation:2-10 years

Contribution toward targets

Primary Regional Catchment Strategy targets and contribution to its achievement:Pest and weed control – At least 192,000 hectares of pest herbivore control and 64,000 hectares of weed control undertaken in priority areas in this region between 2017 and 2037 (an average of at least 9,600 and 3,200 hectares per year respectively). This project will contribute to the overall regional target
Relevant Biodiversity 2037 goal:Undertake weed or pest herbivore control to maintain and enhance vegetation quality in priority areas
Relevant National Landcare Program priority:Soil/biodiversity – Projects that will protect and enhance on-farm remnant native vegetation

More information

Biodiversity Response Planning factsheet for this landscape