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Parwan Hydrological Experimental Area

The Parwan experimental area was established in 1953 by the former Soil Conservation Authority. It is located within the White Elephant Reserve, now owned by the Victorian government. The objectives in establishing the project were to gain a greater understanding of the hydrological processes operating in an eroded catchment, to determine the relationship between rainfall and run-off, and to evaluate the effects of remedial land use and pastoral practices.

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Parwan Hydrological Experimental Area

Parwan Hydrological Experimental Area

(PDF 1.5MB)

Rabbit Control in the Parwan Valley and Its Value for Catchment Management - September 1995

The highly eroded slopes of the White Elephant Hills provide ideal harbour for a rabbit population which can disperse readily into the surrounding farmlands. The nature of the terrain makes eradicating rabbits from these sites extremely difficult. Rabbits are implicated in the major soil erosion problems of the area. Rabbit numbers fell to very low levels during the 1982-83 drought, and the opportunity was taken to intensify rabbit control measures. It was recognized that the problem would be much more difficult to address when rabbit numbers were high.

Maintenance of very low rabbit numbers has been achieved by fencing off small areas and then targeted poisoning at sites of rabbit activity. Consequently, there has been a dramatic increase in the regeneration of trees, shrubs and grasses, and particularly in the survival of tree and shrub seedlings over much of the White Elephant Reserve. Experimental equipment already in place has identified a 20% decrease in average annual surface run-off, attributed to the greater biomass with increased infiltration and evapotranspiration.

This increase in pasture production corresponds in general terms to an improvement in the gross margin of approximately 1 DSE/ha. The implications of rabbit control for catchment management both in the Parwan valley and more generally are examined.

Rabbit control in the Parwan Valley and its value for catchment management

(PDF 325KB)

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