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 […]

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 […]

Learning Networks spread rabbit control

The Victorian Rabbit Action Network is running a training program to help people develop local rabbit control groups, or ‘learning networks’. Participants in the 2.5 day course can apply for a $1,000 grant to support local rabbit control projects. For more information see Leadership in Rabbit Control Course.

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 […]

How to monitor Bilbies

The Martu people of the western deserts are involved in developing a bilby monitoring program, combining traditional knowledge and scientific techniques. Robust monitoring is critical to the evaluation of different management strategies, such as burning practices and the control of cats, foxes and rabbits. For more information on the project, see the Threatened Species Recovery […]