Multi-pronged approach needed for rabbit control

Rabbits are a persistent problem in many parts of Australia and require an equally persistent, multi-pronged response – that’s the message from a recent ABC News report. The ability of rabbits to breed quickly in good seasons, and the ever-changing dynamics between rabbits and biological controls, make surges in wild rabbit populations an enduring threat […]

Rabbit hotspots – located by a new model of rabbit populations

Spotlight counts of rabbits from 116 sites across Australia, taken over 41 years, have enabled modellers to better understand what makes a ‘rabbit hotspot’ – places of high rabbit persistence. These areas are high priorities for well-timed eradication programs. The research team was able to use the survey data to test a new model of […]

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 […]

Synergistic disease dynamics

Combing 17 years of field data on wild rabbit mortality and a model of rabbit populations has provided researchers with insight to the interactions between rabbit diseases – concluding that rabbits that have survived myxomatosis are more vulnerable to RHDV than those not previously infected by myxo. The researchers suggest several factors that may influence […]

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 […]

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 […]

Less rabbit baiting following RHDV

The use of poisoned oats to control wild rabbits has decreased in South Australia, following the introduction of RHDV. After RHDV spread through SA in the late 1990s rabbit numbers were reduced so much that the average demand for poison decreased by about 60-70%, and a similar picture has emerged following the arrival of RHDV2. […]

Myxo helps Calici virus

Wild rabbits exposed to Myxomatosis are more susceptible to RHDV (Calici virus), compared to rabbits without prior exposure. That is the conclusion of researchers looking at eighteen years of data from a continuously monitored site at Turretfield, South Australia. Dr Louise Barnett from Flinders University presented the findings at a recent annual general meeting of […]