Rabbits are set to have a chilly and unpleasant winter in Wanaka.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) announced on Friday it planned to undertake rabbit control soon, in locations throughout Wanaka and Albert Town, working with the Otago Regional Council (ORC), the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand and private land owners in the process.
Toxic Pindone carrot baits will be placed on the ground in various locations throughout the wider Wanaka area.
These include: near the southern edge of the Clutha River by Albert Town, including Templeton Park and the Cardrona River Mouth; north of the Albert Town Bridge (Albert Town Reserve); near the Outlet Track (Clutha River Reserve) and on land near Waterfall Creek (Damper Bay Lakeside Recreation Reserve).
This operation is being planned in conjunction with adjoining landowners, in order to comply with the ORC's pest management plan.
The QLDC said work on the project could start any time from Monday and was weather dependent.
The operation was expected to require up to three toxic applications, each estimated to be one week apart.
That was because the poison needed to be consumed over several days to be effective on rabbits, the council said.
Bait would be laid over six weeks, but caution was advised until all signage has been removed.
The council advised people not to enter any of the areas during the application of bait.
Some walking tracks and areas would be closed for the duration of bait sowing and would be reopened once it was complete; if people did enter these sites during the application of bait, they should exercise caution, the council said.
Tracks and access points near rabbit control operation locations would be signposted.
The council also advised that people should avoid touching the baits or removing carcasses from the targeted areas, and dogs should be kept on leashes where the rabbit control work was under way.
Local schools, vets, medical centres and child care centres had been notified of the operation.
Preston Pest Control had been contracted to undertake the rabbit control operation.
Maps of the operation areas are on the council website.