European Rabbit – (Oryctolagus Cuniculus)
Rabbits are one of Australia’s major agricultural and environmental animal pests costing between $600 million and $1 billion annually. They compete with native animals, destroy the landscape and are a primary cause of soil erosion by preventing regeneration of native vegetation.
Rabbits have played a role in the reduced numbers and extinction of many native animals by competing for food and burrow space. In drought times rabbits climb trees to forage on the foliage and often ringbark trees in their search for moisture.
Rabbits are destroying many of our native plants. They eat seedlings and can kill 2.5 metre to 3.5 metre high shrubs by ring-barking them.
The rabbit is a Class 2 declared pest animal and is a prohibited pet in Queensland. It is considered a key threatening process in Australia and, for this reason, the Federal Department of the Environment and Heritage has developed a Threat Abatement Plan for rabbits.
The Importance of the Warren.
Rabbits can keep cool in warrens or under things like sheds.
An understanding of the biology of rabbits highlights the importance of warrens. By destroying warrens, rabbit reproduction and survival is much reduced.
Rabbits are a major environmental and agricultural pest. Impact on agricultural production is greatest in drier areas where pasture production is low and rabbits can increase to high densities and compete with stock for grazing pasture. In higher rainfall areas, rabbits can be more easily managed and are seen as a moderately expensive nuisance.
The impact of rabbits on native animals and plants is becoming increasingly recognised, and includes competition with many native animals for food and shelter and damage to native vegetation through ringbarking, grazing and browsing.
The key to the success of the rabbit in Australia is the warren, which provides protection from weather and predators and enables rabbits to inhabit semi-arid and arid country. As rabbits do not dig new warrens readily, the most effective and long-term form of rabbit management is usually through destruction of warren networks with rippers mounted on bulldozers.
Amazing Rabbit Breeding Facts
Rabbits breed from 3-4 months of age,
The Darling Downs–Moreton Rabbit Board Fence protects some of the state’s most productive agricultural land from the devastation caused by rabbits.
Further information about the rabbit is available from:
Damage caused by Rabbits.
Rabbit or Hare?
How do I spot the difference?
Here are some tips to help you tell a rabbit and a hare apart:
Approximately a quarter of actual size. (Scale 1:4)