Research Priorities

Researching and developing rabbit control options requires effort across disciplines ranging from ecology to genetics and epidemiology; in locations ranging from remote field sites to high-tech quarantined laboratories. It is challenging and rewarding for those involved.

Research Aim: To support research, development and extension, including projects, researchers and research organisations, contributing to the eradication of wild rabbits in Australia.

Research Priorities:

  • Biological controls. Research to enable better biological control of European wild rabbits in Australia, focussing upon:
    • Control agents. Identifying, testing and planning the release of biological control agents.
    • Transmission. Understanding how biological control agents are transmitted and how to optimise transmission and infection.
    • Susceptibility. Understanding what influences the varied susceptibility of rabbits to biological controls and how to optimise the effectiveness of control agents.
  • Rabbit impacts. Understanding and quantifying the nature, extent and cost of rabbit impacts on primary production and natural environments.
  • R&D capacity. Helping to ensure Australia has adequate research capacity, and that it is effectively and efficiently applied, to research into rabbit-controls, focussing on:
    • Science partnerships. Working closely with, and supporting, the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, government departments and relevant organisations.
    • Supporting researchers. Making grants available to support post-graduate projects, and for personal development and scientific exchanges for Australian and international researchers.
    • Science forums. Facilitating forums for the exchange of new ideas and research findings, and the analysis of research priorities.

RFA has a niche in rabbit control research supporting small, highly influential projects and providing catalytic or top-up funding for larger investigations. As community derived funding it can often attract matching investment by government.