Skyline Pindone rabbit control operation

A Pindone rabbit control operation is being undertaken across the Outer Green Belt skyline in response to the increasing rabbit population in the area.

About the project

Wellington City Council has engaged Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) to undertake a Pindone rabbit control operation across key sections of the Outer Green Belt Skyline.

Rabbit numbers have soared on the Skyline and are causing significant impact on nature. Wild rabbits consume native vegetation and regenerating bush, alter habitats, and cause erosion. Our community has requested increased rabbit control on the Skyline.

Our usual control methods (night hunting) are ineffective for the rabbit population growth we are currently experiencing. This operation will make a significant contribution to retaining and restoring nature in the city.

The bait will be distributed by hand across the area in the form of diced carrots coated with Pindone solution. Experts predict that it will reduce the rabbit population in the treated area by up to 90%.

You can still go into the reserve and enjoy your recreational activities. There are no changes to public access to the reserve as a result of this operation. The operation is low risk for humans, dogs, birds, and wildlife, provided you follow the standard reserve rules and advice:

  • Do not touch baits or carcasses
  • Always supervise children
  • Keep your dog on a lead at all times
  • Do not allow dogs to scavenge
  • Stick to the official tracks

View a map of the operational area (647KB JPG). The operation taking place in the Outer Green Belt Skyline Reserve area includes one section of the reserve which extends from Karori to Ngaio, and another small area of Wellington City Council owned land near Johnsonville.

Following the Pindone operation, 21,000 native plants will be planted this winter across this landscape, further helping to restore nature in this wildlife corridor.


The operation will commence on Monday 6 May 2024 and rollout is due to be completed by the end of June.

Extra precaution is recommended for 8 months from last application. Warning signs will remain in place for this period.


Pindone is most effective when rabbit populations are at high densities in treatment areas. Pindone is a slow-acting anticoagulant toxin that is lethal to rabbits when ingested over time. By embedding pindone into carrots, it becomes an appealing bait for rabbits, increasing the likelihood of consumption. Rabbits are the species known to be the most susceptible to Pindone.

Keeping your pets safe

Dogs must always be on a leash on the skyline walkway. Remain vigilant and do not let your dog eat any bait or carcasses during the operation and following months. We recommend keeping a short lead (2m) and making sure you have a strong hold.

The bait will not be laid along any of the tracks or paths, or in any off-leash areas.

A large quantity of Pindone would need to be consumed for animals, such as cats and dogs, to suffer poisonous effects. The risk of secondary poisoning to pets is also low due to most rabbits retreating to their burrows whilst in the later stages of the Pindone take effect.

After Pindone exposure, symptoms may be delayed by several days; these may include nausea and vomiting, as well as bleeding gums, excessive bleeding from minor cuts, blood in urine or faeces, bruising easily, difficulty moving, shock, and coma.

If you know or suspect your pet has consumed toxic bait or a carcass, contact your vet immediately. A Vitamin K1 shot can be administered by a vet as an effective antidote in the early stages of poisoning. Local vets have been informed of the operation.

Kiwi and other wildlife

The carrot baits are dyed green or blue to deter birds and other native wildlife from eating it. Kiwi are insectivores and will not be attracted to the bait.

Even if they were to consume it, Pindone is a mammalian toxin, and birds have far greater resistance to the toxin than rabbits. We have consulted with our partners at Capital Kiwi and other experts to confirm the risk to kiwi is very low.

If you do encounter sick or injured native wildlife, please contact the Department of Conservation (DOC HOTLINE 0800 362 468).

If you find a rabbit carcass

To ensure your health and safety, please do not handle any rabbit carcasses. You can log the location of the carcass via the Fixit app, and a professional will dispose of the carcass appropriately.

Please ensure to be as precise as possible when entering the location so our staff can easily find it. If taking photos, it is useful to add a photo taken from a distance to help our staff identify the location.

Contact us

Wellington City Council has engaged GWRC’s Biosecurity Experts to deliver this operation. If you have any questions about the operation, please contact GWRC at:

Phone: 0800 496 734

Alternatively, you can get in touch with our Urban Ecology Team at