Around Australia, we are seeing more and more success in reclaiming the Australian bush for native plants and animals – the ethos behind the Easter Bilby’s slogan of ‘Bilbies not Bunnies’. For these projects to succeed, two challenging steps are typically required.
The first is to cull and/or exclude rabbits and feral predators (cats and foxes). Rabbits are important because they degrade vegetation and help sustain feral predators.
A second step is the reintroduction of native animals. Many of the species being re-introduced are a similar size to rabbits, and can suffer from competition for food and burrows unless rabbit control has been undertaken. Reintroduced species also contribute to restoration efforts, providing a range of services like digging and seed dispersal.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy is one of a number of like-minded organisations undertaking reintroduction work around Australia, often into fenced ‘wildlife havens’, from where rabbits, foxes and cats have been removed.
For more information on their program see Implementing Australia’s most comprehensive wildlife reintroduction program