October 2023 update
Biosecurity Tasmania is aware of significant rabbit numbers in the south of the state as well as other isolated sites elsewhere in the state. However, current spring conditions around the state means most areas have enough green grass available for rabbits to continue breeding and also making it less likely for them to take calicivirus-treated bait.
Trained biosecurity staff continue to monitor conditions and assess suitability for releasing calicivirus. In the meantime, it is recommended landowners consider more traditional methods of rabbit management such as shooting, habitat removal and warren destruction.
Conditions over the past three years have been very favourable for rabbits to reproduce, which has meant rabbit control using calicivirus has been challenging.
To ensure calicivirus is effective and to prevent rabbit populations developing immunity, virus release only takes place when conditions are suitable, between late summer and autumn.
Generally, only rabbits older than 12 weeks are susceptible to calicivirus. Young rabbits may develop immunity from calicivirus if exposed. Release of calicivirus in the presence of large numbers of young rabbits therefore increases the risk of developing calicivirus immunity within rabbit populations.
Earlier this year during autumn, conditions allowed for a very limited release of calicivirus in the following very specific locations with mixed results.
- Surveyors Bay
This page will be updated if any further sites are identified for release of calicivirus in Tasmania in 2023.
There are reports wild rabbit populations currently being impacted by myxomatosis and RHDV2 (a different type of calicivirus of unknown origin that has naturalised in the environment).
If you wish to report rabbit deaths in your area to support our data collection, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Calicivirus was not released in Tasmania in 2021 or 2022.