The damage from feral rabbits in Royal Bay has some residents frustrated. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The damage from feral rabbits in Royal Bay has some residents frustrated. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Colwood seeks solution as rabbits run rampant in Royal Bay

Staff note an impact on infrastructure, impending hazards

Colwood council has directed city staff to hop to it and find solutions to manage the exploding rabbit population in Royal Bay.

The issue, which jumped up during the Oct. 26 regular meeting of council, is the result of efforts to transform the dusty gravel pit in Royal Bay into a lush green neighbourhood, noted a spokesperson for Colwood.

A brief to council from public works service co-ordinator John Russell said the increase in feral rabbits inhabiting public and private land in Royal Bay has led to conflict with humans and infrastructure in the area.

Although small colonies of feral rabbits have been present in Colwood for years, the beautification of Royal Bay has provided an increase in food and water, causing them to flourish. The rabbits are now entrenched, taking up residence under front porches and using vehicles to provide cover from predators as they move throughout the neighbourhood, grazing on shrubs and grass.

READ ALSO: Bunny owners beware, feral rabbits die of ‘highly infectious’ virus in Saanich

“Many residents awake each morning in consternation at the impact that has happened overnight through burrowing and foraging,” Russell noted.

That has caused some people to replant their gardens multiple times, spray plants or convert to rock to limit the digging. “The ability of these two groups to coexist has become strained as residents find themselves exasperated trying to cope with the expanding population.”

Staff has noticed an impact on infrastructure throughout Royal Bay. In addition to burrow-riddled garden beds, sidewalks are littered with soil and plant debris. That raises concerns about potential trip hazards and future damage to infrastructure, as well as the risk of conflict with vehicles.

Any effort to manage the rabbits would require a co-ordinated effort, with residents, landowners and the city sharing the responsibility. Concerted efforts would require a budget, the brief concluded.

Colwood Mayor Rob Martin said he’s confident council will find an acceptable solution. “It’s an issue many communities have grappled with so we have experiences and approaches to draw guidance from,” Martin added.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

City of Colwood,Colwood

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

Carmen Robinson was last seen getting off a bus in View Royal the evening of Dec. 8, 1973. Her case remains unsolved 47 years later. (Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Gone cold: Fate of View Royal teen remains a mystery, 47 years after her disappearance

Carmen Robinson, 17, was last seen exiting a bus in View Royal in December 1973

A Saanich crash has left many residences in the area without power Thursday morning. (Google Maps)
Early morning crash causes Saanich power outage

Power expected to be restored by 9:30 a.m.

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

Traffic will be affected as View Royal does road work from Dec. 3 to Dec. 5 on the Island Highway at Wilfert Road. (Image courtesy Town of View Royal)
Road work hinders traffic in View Royal on Island Highway at Wilfert Road

Work scheduled for Dec. 3 to 5, weather dependent

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

Most Read