A recent analysis shows that wild rabbits in Australia developed resistance to myxomavirus in a stepped manner, with the second step likely triggered by the introduction of European rabbit fleas. It poses the question of whether further changes in resistance occurred following the advent of RHDV and RHDV2, but no such studies have been undertaken […]
An entertaining Blog by ecologist John Read reveals the dedication of researchers, sheds light on how rabbits sustain feral cats and foxes resulting in hyper-predation of native fauna, and shows how tricky it can be to understand why species are where they are. Follow the link to read John’s Blog, ‘Sharing the secret. Better than […]
A future climate with more heatwaves could leave rabbits more exposed to heat stress and predators – that’s one of the insights from a recent study at Arid Recovery’s wildlife reserve in South Australia. Monitoring collars were fitted to rabbits and bilbies in the reserve to record their location and activity, and the temperature and […]
Grazing by rabbits, even at post-calici densities, can still inhibit the recruitment of palatable plant species and result in more weeds like horehound; that is one of the findings of a recent project from PhD candidate Neil Ross (UNSW). Neil studied 15 long-term grazing exclosures in the NSW and SA rangelands to understand the impact […]
The continuing ecological recovery of Macquarie Island demonstrates the effectiveness of starting at the bottom of the food web to generate landscape health. An initial focus on feral cats triggered a boom in rabbit and rat populations. Eliminating rabbits, rats and mice paved the way for predator removal and triggered a revival in vegetative habitat […]
The recent Rabbit R&D Update webinar was a source of great information on rabbits, bio-controls and the impact of rabbits on the environment, including sustaining feral predators. Materials from the webinar are now available: Presentations as PDFs: Brian Cooke, European rabbit fleas. Katherine Moseby, Rabbits & feral cats. Andreas Glanznig, Nationally coordinated rabbit biocontrol R&D. […]
The ‘Bilbies not Bunnies’ slogan is a reminder of the harm rabbits cause and the need to control them if native plants and animals are to flourish. European wild rabbits changed Australian landscapes, removing vegetation and abetting soil erosion which was so widespread in the early 1900s that State governments introduced Soil Conservation legislation to […]
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.
Programs to eradicate invasive rats, cats, rabbits and goats have been a key to restoring the ecology on islands around the world according to a recent assessment of attempts on nearly 1,000 islands.
Current strains of myxomatosis are far more virulent than that released in 1950, but rabbits have increased resistance as well. Nonetheless, myxo is still important for rabbit control in Australia.