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 […]

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 […]