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Don't underestimate rabbits: They threaten more native wildlife than cats or foxes


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

In inland Australia, rabbits have taken a severe toll on native wildlife since they were introduced in 1859. They may be small, but today rabbits are a key threat to 322 species of Australia's at-risk plants and animals—more than twice the number of species threatened by cats or foxes.

For example, research shows even just one rabbit in two hectares of land can solely destroy every regenerating sheoak seedling. Rabbits are also responsible for the historic declines of the iconic southern hairy-nosed wombat and red kangaroo.

Our latest research looked at the conservation benefits following the introduction of three separate biocontrols used to manage rabbits in Australia over the 20th Century—all three were stunningly successful and resulted in enormous benefits to conservation.

But today, rabbits are commonly ignored or underestimated, and aren't given appropriate attention in conservation compared to introduced predators like cats and foxes. This needs to change.

https://theconversation.com/dont-underestimate-rabbits-these-powerful-pests-threaten-more-native-wildlife-than-cats-or-foxes-168288

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