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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Rabbit-free Research Opportunity

The TGB Osborn Vegetation Reserve at Koonamore is the longest-running vegetation monitoring site of its kind in Australia – and site data is now readily available to researchers. The site has not been grazed by sheep for over 50 years, and has been rabbit-free for over 40 yrs – so there is a wealth of […]