Rabbit control: Kick-start landscape recovery

A few recent opinion pieces collectively paint a picture of the growing importance of privately managed sanctuaries in nature conservation (Possingham), a need for caution and not becoming over-reliant on such sanctuaries (Moseby & Read), and a requirement to shift attention from managing single species to a stable system of ecosystem management for effective conservation (Krebs).

A systems approach is needed to ensure threatened species survive outside of fenced sanctuaries. Rabbit control, especially when linked with cat and fox control, will be an important foundation to such efforts in many parts of Australia due to their ecosystem-wide influence. Rabbit control is often an essential precursor to vegetation and habitat recovery and to the management of feral predators.

Collaboration between private and public investors, community engagement and contribution, assistance to land managers, and an ever improving scientific base to help manage the uncertainty of ecological management will all be needed. Plans for integrated programs at a regional scale will need to be developed with their communities to ensure they are practical, locally endorsed and committed to by the sectors involved.

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Sandalwood; a keystone species affected by rabbits.
(Image: Richard McLellan)

Posted in About Rabbits, Awareness and tagged , , , .