Spotlight counts of rabbits from 116 sites across Australia, taken over 41 years, have enabled modellers to better understand what makes a ‘rabbit hotspot’ – places of high rabbit persistence. These areas are high priorities for well-timed eradication programs.
The research team was able to use the survey data to test a new model of rabbit persistence. They concluded that temperature and rainfall (or irrigation), along with the prevalence of the benign RCV-A1 calicivirus (which provides partial protection against the lethal RHDV), were important factors in rabbit abundance.
For more information see the paper by Brown et.al in EcoEvoRxiv Preprints.