A recent paper in the Rangeland Journal has concluded that attempts to preserve plant biodiversity by removing livestock are destined to fail in rabbit-grazed rangelands. The paper cites studies that show little evidence of grazing-sensitive plants finding refuge in water-remote areas (sites of low grazing pressure from livestock) – while plant biodiversity gradients are readily discernable along gradients of rabbit density in livestock-free reserves. When present at even very low densities, rabbit grazing can prevent the regeneration of rangeland vegetation. It is concluded that assisting rabbit control on conservatively stocked pastoral properties may have more conservation benefit than the removal of livestock alone. To see the full paper by Greg Mutze from Biosecurity SA, visit the Rangeland Journal courtesy of CSIRO publishing.
Barking up the wrong tree – rabbits a major threat to rangeland vegetation
Posted in About Rabbits, Articles & Documentaries, Awareness, Research and tagged livestock, rabbit grazing, Rabbit impacts, refuge, regeneration.