Rabbit Resurgence: Minimising Future Economic and Biodiversity Losses

Lead Researcher: Dr Brian Cooke, Invasive Animals CRC and University of Canberra, brian.cooke@canberra.edu.au

This project was initiated because rabbits are increasing in abundance once again following a decade of more when they were held low by Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV). As the ‘mallee’ areas of adjoining New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are among areas most affected by this resurgence it was important to take action in this area to understand and if possible avert the growing problem. Demonstrations of effective ways of combating rabbits would not only enable land managers to be better prepared to handle problems in the mallee but would also provide advance information for managers in adjoining areas where rabbits could increase in the future.

This project aims to:

  • establish demonstration sites to provide training and advice for dealing with the immediate problem of keeping rabbits down
  • assist land managers to gain an understanding of the principles of rabbit control as well as gain practical experience in the use of the methods available
  • assist land managers to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of control methods used alone and in combination so that they can make general recommendations for the best combinations of methods for rabbit control for their district
  • develop computer-based economic decision models based on the cost-effectiveness of each rabbit control method, singularly or in combination with others, that can be used to design the most efficient combination of techniques for rabbit control
  • develop extension projects that target individual farmers, park rangers and NRM groups with advice for achieving effective rabbit control
  • develop desktop studies that considered the long-term prospects for rabbit control.

The following publication resulted from this work:

Cooke, B., R. Jones and W.Gong (2010). An economic decision model of wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus control to conserve native vegetation. Wildlife Research, 37: 558 – 565.

This project was funded under the Australian Pest Animal Research Program (APARP).
For more APARP projects, visit: www.pestsmart.org.au/australian-pest-animal-research-program/

Secondary title APARP Report
Author Brian Cooke
Year 2010
Publisher Invasive Animals CRC
Pages 15
Control method Integrated Pest Management

Rabbit Resurgence: Minimizing Future Economic and Biodiversity Losses [ 570kb PDF ]


 Australian Pest Animal Research Program (APARP)