Rat Spill – an invasive species case study

A tiny Alaskan island faces a threat as deadly as an oil spill – rats. However, ‘biological spills’ can be much worse than oil spills, because they don’t necessarily diminish over time. Biological pollution can adapt, self-propagate and spread, says Professor Anthony Ricciardi from McGill University, Montreal. Interesting to think of invasive species, like wild […]

Bilby recovery news

The national Bilby Recovery Plan is under review, and new research may help re-introductions in southern Australia. The Bilby was adopted as a mascot by RFA to highlight the impact of rabbits on native wildlife and vegetation. According to the draft Recovery Plan for the Greater Bilby; ‘Bilby distribution is associated with an absence or […]

Vic Rabbit Action Network wins UN award.

Victoria’s Rabbit Action Network has gained international acclaim with a United Nations Public Service award, for ‘delivering more inclusive and equitable services’. The program, delivered by Agriculture Victoria, brings together whole communities – land managers, farmers, scientists, government officials and the wider community – to manage one of their most invasive species, the European wild […]

Rabbit hotspots – located by a new model of rabbit populations

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 […]

Public engagement essential for invasive animal control

A mix of recent stories from New Zealand highlight the importance of controlling invasive species for the benefit of native plants and animals – and the importance of public engagement as part of the solution. An article in the NZ Herald begins by asking if there is any solution to the devastating problem of rabbits. […]

Controlling ferals so native plants and animals survive.

Several recent news stories highlight the importance of controlling feral animals, like rabbits, cats and foxes, in order to restore native ecosystems. Scientists have shown that invasive species are responsible for hundreds of species becoming extinct, and have concluded that removing invasive species from islands would benefit nearly 10% of the most endangered species on […]

Culling overabundant wildlife vs the alternatives

‘If overabundant wildlife populations are not reduced by some means, the result must be death by starvation or disease coupled with extensive damage to other species in these ecosystems,’ say ecologists Charley Krebs and Judy Myers. The killing of animals is abhorrent to many people, but alternative controls (e.g. capture and relocation or sterilisation) or […]

‘Gene drive’ for mammals

‘Gene drive’ technology (where genome editing increases the likelihood of certain traits being inherited) has now been applied to mammals. Previously trialled on insects, the technology was used to control the colour of mice in trials at UC San Diego, USA. Gene drive technology is being explored as a potential breakthrough in the control of […]

Award Winning K5 in the News

The RHDV1-K5 team from the Centre for Invasive Species (CISS) has won a National Biosecurity Award for work in the 2017 release and monitoring of the rabbit control virus. When accepting the Award, the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions noted it was a strong cooperative endeavour between the Australian Government, NSW Department of Primary Industries, […]

Coorong dunes recover thanks to rabbit controls

Successive biological controls for rabbits have been the most important factor in the recovery of sand dunes along the Coorong in South Australia. Researchers from Flinders University have recorded peaks in vegetation regrowth and dune stabilisation coinciding with various biological controls, ranging from myxomatosis (1952) and the rabbit flea (1968), to RHDV (in 1995 and […]