Rabbits compete with native mammals and support populations of predatory cats and foxes – placing even more pressure on small native animals. Sustained by rabbits, hyper-abundant predators can hunt native mammals to extinction.
Research is indicating that if feral cats are introduced in low numbers, then animals like bilbies can become more ‘predator wary’ and have better chances of surviving.
Lowering rabbit numbers is a good first step toward feral cat control and is an essential part of integrated programs for wildlife recovery.
For more information see the article by Elizabeth Kolbert in BBC Future Planet, citing work by Katherine Moseby at Arid Recovery.