Rabbits – Australia’s worst invasive species

Rabbits negatively impact more threatened species in Australia than does any other invasive species, according to the Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Over 300 threatened native species are at increased risk due to rabbits – more than from any other invasive species. For more information, see the report by Kearney et.al (2018) in Pacific Conservation Biology […]

Sociology & Ecology – choosing what to value most

Calls for ‘compassionate conservation’ (the protection of individual wild animals, regardless of whether they are native or an introduced invasive species) may be rebuffed by ecologists, citing any number of examples of the environmental harm caused by invasive species and the environmental benefits that come from their control or eradication. However, several social issues are […]

Rabbits get the ‘hooroo’ from Goorooyarroo

A cull of rabbits from the Goorooyarroo nature reserve, Canberra, is the next step in the expansion of a protected area and the reintroduction of native animals. It follows the erection of predator-proof fencing, and precedes a fox and cat control program, which will in-turn enable the extension of populations of bettong, eastern quolls and […]

Bilbies to board Great Southern Ark

A 17 km long fence across southern Yorke Peninsula in South Australia will be the foundation to a 120,000 hectare sanctuary, aimed at ‘re-wilding’ the environment. The plan involves Naturally Yorke, the South Australian and federal governments, WWF and Greening Australia in removing pests (including rabbits, cats and foxes) and reintroducing native species that are […]

For over 100 yrs native seedlings did not grow.

Victoria’s Mallee Parks are sprouting back to life after the control of rabbits and other feral animals, thanks to a 20 year program of control and regeneration. Young pine, buloke and belah trees now grow healthy, where seedlings previously failed to survive. The parks are once more a fully functioning ecosystem, providing habitat and healthy […]

Science vs Sentiment

A NZ court has ruled in favour of using 1080 for pest control, over-ruling opposition on animal welfare grounds. The debate is informative to all with an interest in conservation and pest control – including rabbit control, which has long included 1080 in the measures needed for success. For more information, see Science beats superstition […]

Can Bilbies survive low density cat predation?

Two recent articles suggest that bilbies can persist under low predation levels from feral cats, but the ‘threshold question’ remains open. Is there a threshold cat density above which bilbies can’t survive – and if so, what is it; and does it vary between locations? For more information, see Moseby et, al., (2018) in Austral […]

Resurgent RHDV K5?

Low rabbit numbers on an Eyre Peninsula property may be due to an increase in RHDV K5 during cooler months – a result anticipated by Natural Resources Officer, Ben Tucker, who coordinated the local release of the virus at trial sites last year. For more information, see the November, 2018 Stock Journal article.

Diverse genetics indicates diverse origins

Australia’s feral rabbits fall into three primary genetic lineages, with three other highly localised ones, according to a recently published research paper. The results suggest the rabbits originated from different introductions across the country, rather than a single site. The research, assisted in part by funding from the Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia, examined the […]

Virus immunity in young rabbits

CSIRO funded researchers have discovered why young rabbits are immune to RHDV1, but not RHDV2. It seems that young rabbits have a naturally heightened immune system, but RHDV2 is able to shut down the elevated immune state – whereas RHDV1 is not. For more information, see the Research Updates in Feral Flyer Issue 350 (the […]