Unholy trinity – rabbits, cats and foxes

In a recent contribution to The Conversation, Associate Professor Katherine Moseby (UNSW) refers to rabbits, cats and foxes as an unholy trinity. Rabbits competed with native mammals for food and became food themselves for cats and foxes – inflating predator numbers and adding to the predation of native mammals. Katherine has over 25 years of […]

Overabundant herbivores. How they affect plant communities.

Herbivores are considered overabundant when they cause observable harm to a plant community. A framework for thinking about and recording overabundance is presented by John Morgan in a special issue of Ecological Management and Restoration. The focus of this work is on overabundant macropods (wallabies and kangaroos), but the concepts are equally relevant to understanding […]

Rabbits – Ecosystem engineers

Rabbits change entire ecosystems from the bottom up, and a couple of recent articles provide great examples of this, demonstrating how interconnected our environment is. It all starts with rabbits eating native vegetation; often very selectively taking out seedlings of the tastiest species. They are so good at this that they can completely prevent the […]

Wildlife recovery rides on pest control

Wildlife re-introductions to managed reserves help demonstrate what the environment was like before rabbits and feral predators were introduced to Australia. They are signposts to how we might meet the even bigger challenge of replicating that success in much larger unfenced areas.

Lab work to confront rabbits

Biological controls have been the only effective measure to suppress European wild rabbits across Australia to date, providing opportunities for subsequent control through physical measures like ripping and baiting. However the virulence of bio-controls declines over time as the control agent and rabbits evolve, so a ‘pipeline’ of new control agents is necessary to avoid […]