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 […]

Gene drive questions

Gene drive technology (a way to spread a specific gene through a species) may have potential for feral animal control (especially in isolated pest populations), but non-technical questions are also being raised. For more information, see the ABC News article – ‘Feral science or feral solution‘.

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 […]

Compassionate conservation fails to conserve

An article by Peter Fleming concludes that ‘compassionate conservation’ (an approach focused on the ‘well-being of individual wild animals’) has the capacity to do harm to the cause of conservation in Australia and elsewhere. Referring to the damage rabbits cause to natural ecosystems, and hence the suffering caused to other animals, Peter argues that individuals […]

Is the future fenced?

An article by Michael Bode highlights the importance of fox and cat control for fauna conservation,and muses about how good it would be if methods other than fencing could achieve that. Rabbits must also be considered – as competitors and habitat destroyers – for fauna conservation. The biological control of rabbits has benefited whole landscapes, […]

RHDV2 reduces wild rabbit numbers

Following the arrival of RHDV2, European wild rabbit numbers dropped to around 20% of the average over the preceding ten years, according to recently published survey data. The results come from two long-term monitoring sites in South Australia, in the Flinders Ranges and at Turretfield. If the two sites are representative of other areas and […]

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 […]

Conservation starts with rabbit control.

Concerted efforts at rabbit control by the Trust for Nature on their Ned’s Corner property are paying off. The Trust purchased the property west of Mildura fifteen years ago and has been targeting rabbits with a variety of control measures, including spreading RHDV-K5. Land that was once eroded by rabbits is now regenerating – more […]

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 […]