Pest animals – rabbits

  • Fact sheet
  • August 2015
Rabbits gather around a waterhole
Rabbits around a waterhole at the myxomatosis trial
enclosure on Wardang Island in 1938

Why are they a problem?

Rabbits have a devastating effect on the Australian environment. Rabbits have played an integral role in the extinction of many plants and animals, and continue to threaten the restoration of natural habitats.

Distribution

Rabbit numbers are difficult to assess and can change very rapidly due to environmental conditions. They are a serious pest in every Australian state due to their enormous reproductive capacity and their adaptability to our environment.

Reproduction

Rabbits are excellent breeders. They normally breed from autumn to late spring. They can become sexually mature at three months of age. In the optimum breeding period each female typically produces three to seven young per litter.

Impact

Control

An integrated pest management plan is extremely helpful in the control of feral animals. Steps to developing an integrated pest management plan:

  1. Monitor pest animal presence and impact: identify where there are signs of pest animals and the severity of impact
  2. Plan: set clear objectives for what you want to achieve
  3. Design your approach: an integrated project, using a number of different control options. Work cooperatively with your neighbours

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