RHDV2 reduces wild rabbit numbers

Following the arrival of RHDV2, European wild rabbit numbers dropped to around 20% of the average over the preceding ten years, according to recently published survey data.

The results come from two long-term monitoring sites in South Australia, in the Flinders Ranges and at Turretfield. If the two sites are representative of other areas and the change is persistent, it means enormous benefit to the environment and all land  managers.

Researchers cannot be certain the drop in wild rabbit numbers is due entirely to RHDV2, and note that a virulent myxoma virus was also present at Turretfield in 2016, but RHDV2 has largely displaced RHDV1. For more information, see the Veterinary Record research paper.

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