Rabbit - Oryctolagus cuniculus

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'Rabbit - Oryctolagus cuniculus'

Rabbit - Oryctolagus cuniculus

[Public Domain] 22 Mar 2005 Dylan O'Donnell
CATEGORY : Species
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The common domestic rabbit’s history in australia is as long as european history here, in that they arrived on the very first ship that we did. In 1859 however, they became widespread after being introduced to southern victoria. Hunters were initially pleased at having an established species to shoot, but soon realized that for every rabbit they shot, a dozen more would breed and it wasn’t long before the rabbit became an ecological disaster.

According to this source, 16 rabbits will eat as much as 1 sheep. So 60 million sheep, or 90 million dollars in lost production, not counting 20 million dollars spent on control.

Rabbits displace native animals, and compete for food and territory and due to evicting native burrowing mammals from their homes, contributed to the regional extinction of the bilby and of the burrowing bettong.

Cute perhaps, and a successful species, rabbits have in 200 years forever changed the natural order of Australia that has evolved over millions of years.

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