A month-long rabbit baiting program will begin next week in the Chapman River Regional Park, in a bid to protect native flora.

City of Greater Geraldton acting chief executive Paul Radalj said efforts to reduce the population were a response to concerns the feral animals were damaging native vegetation.

Mr Radalj said the rabbits were not just confined to the park.

“The surrounding land also supports large populations which poses an issue for both the City and other landholders,” he said.

“The Chapman River Regional Park is one of the few remaining quality stands of remnant vegetation in this area and we need to act to protect the flora in the area.”

The bait used, an anticoagulant poison called Pindone, will be mixed with oats and put out at night, when rabbits are most active.

“Signage and advertising will alert residents and visitors that baiting is in progress, however, it is the responsibility of surrounding landholders and visitors to manage their pets carefully while the signage is present,” Mr Radalj said.

City officials are asking adjacent landholders to bury any rabbit carcasses found on their properties, to reduce the risk of non-target species eating the carcasses.

A City spokeswoman said the bait posed a lower risk to humans and pets than the bait used in broad acre rabbit control, and that veterinarians had access to an antidote.