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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... Continue reading
The problem The 2021 State of the Environment report (Australian government) notes that rabbits affect species and ecosystems by competing with native animals for food, through gazing and preventing regeneration of seedlings, and by supporting populations of pest predators such as feral cats, foxes and wild dogs. The decline and extinction of many mammal species... Continue reading
Blog: Brian Cooke & Bruce Munday. Featured image: Ron Sinclair. Chasing the DNA trail has become something of a 21st century family sport. So it is hardly surprising that researchers are interested in the genomics of that great little breeder, the wild rabbit. But first – some history. Introductions In 1859 Thomas Austin at Barwon... Continue reading
Social hierarchies in rabbits are not so unlike what you would find in a period drama. These social machinations are an ingenious way to give the next generation a genetic advantage. The fittest animals become dominant and produce by far the most offspring, while the risks of inbreeding are neatly sidestepped by having the boys leave home while the girls mostly stay. Continue reading
Dingoes have been promoted as a means to suppress rabbits, but history tells a different story. It seems dingoes and diseases like RHDV can hold rabbit numbers in some circumstances, but dingoes alone cannot suppress rabbits well enough to prevent continuing ecological damage. Continue reading
When RHDV first appeared in Australia it spread poorly amongst young rabbits with little affect on them. However a later variant, RHDV2 is recognised as spreading amongst young rabbits. When Covid-19 initially spread, it rarely affected children. Could it follow the same path as RHDV? Continue reading
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