Remarkable conservation – rabbit, rodent & cat removal

Macquarie Island’s rebirth continues following the removal of rabbits, rodents and cats. Described as one of the most remarkable stories of conservation in Australia (if not the world), the vegetation on the island is now ‘just going nuts’ and bird life is also recovering, with ‘beaches littered with wildlife’. For more information, see the ABC […]

Killing wild rabbits conserves native mammals

Ecological modellers have shown how reducing wild rabbit numbers helps maintain small native mammals. Benefits for small mammals occur when 30-40% of rabbits are removed through a mix of biological and physical controls. Higher rates of rabbit removal can lead to a decline in small mammals in the short term, but with subsequent long term […]

Synergistic disease dynamics

Combing 17 years of field data on wild rabbit mortality and a model of rabbit populations has provided researchers with insight to the interactions between rabbit diseases – concluding that rabbits that have survived myxomatosis are more vulnerable to RHDV than those not previously infected by myxo. The researchers suggest several factors that may influence […]

Disease synergies aid rabbit control

Exposure of rabbits to the myxoma virus renders them less likely to survive RHDV, according to a soon to be published research paper. The research, led by Louise Barnett and assisted by RFA, shows that a combination of biological controls can have more impact than the sum of individual controls on their own. For more […]

Less rabbit baiting following RHDV

The use of poisoned oats to control wild rabbits has decreased in South Australia, following the introduction of RHDV. After RHDV spread through SA in the late 1990s rabbit numbers were reduced so much that the average demand for poison decreased by about 60-70%, and a similar picture has emerged following the arrival of RHDV2. […]

Rabbits – Criminals of the animal world.

Rabbits and foxes are ‘criminals of the animal world’ due to their impact on native plants and animals, according to park authorities in the Australian Capital Territory. Parks and Conservation (ACT) spend over $150,000 a year on rabbit control and are hopeful that RHDV-K5 will be active this autumn and winter. For more information, see […]

Calici helps Mulgara recovery

Reduced rabbit populations since the introduction of the Calici virus are a factor in the recovery of the Crest-tailed Mulgara. Thought to be extinct in NSW, Mulgara have been found in Sturt National Park. Reductions in rabbit populations have been linked with increased ground cover, benefiting the species. For more information, see the University of […]

Myxo helps Calici virus

Wild rabbits exposed to Myxomatosis are more susceptible to RHDV (Calici virus), compared to rabbits without prior exposure. That is the conclusion of researchers looking at eighteen years of data from a continuously monitored site at Turretfield, South Australia. Dr Louise Barnett from Flinders University presented the findings at a recent annual general meeting of […]

Wardang Island’s rabbit history

The historic role of Wardang Island in the development of bio-controls for wild rabbits has been recognized with an update to signage at the Port Victoria jetty. The Island was the primary field trial site for both Myxomatosis and the Calici virus (RHDV). Great to see that history, the role of CSIRO, and the support […]

The arms race continues – myxoma vs wild rabbits

The myxoma virus found in Australia has evolved to better suppress the immune system of rabbits, according to a team of Australian and American researchers. Rabbits with a weakened immune system will also be more vulnerable to other diseases. The team, led by Peter Kerr from the University of Sydney and CSIRO, concluded the myxoma […]