Population dynamics of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in north eastern Australia: simulated responses to control

Article


Scanlan, J. C., Berman, D. M. and Grant, W. E.. 2006. "Population dynamics of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in north eastern Australia: simulated responses to control." Ecological Modelling. 196 (1-2), pp. 221-236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2006.02.008
Article Title

Population dynamics of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in north eastern Australia: simulated responses to control

ERA Journal ID3233
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsScanlan, J. C. (Author), Berman, D. M. (Author) and Grant, W. E. (Author)
Journal TitleEcological Modelling
Journal Citation196 (1-2), pp. 221-236
Number of Pages16
Year2006
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationNetherlands
ISSN0304-3800
1872-7026
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2006.02.008
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380006000615?via%3Dihub
Abstract

Wild European rabbits are a serious problem to agriculture in Australia, with an estimated annual cost of A$ 113 million. Biological control agents (myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus) have caused large and sustained declines in rabbit populations throughout Australia. A simulation model incorporates these diseases as well as warren destruction as methods of controlling rabbit populations in Queensland, north eastern Aus- tralia. These diseases reduced populations by 90–99% and the combination of these and warren destruction led to 100% control in simulations at six sites across southern Queens- land. Increasing monthly pasture growth by 15% had little effect on simulated populations whereas a 15% decrease reduced populations by 0–50%. An increase in temperature of 2.5◦C would lead to a 15–60% decrease in populations. These effects suggest that climate change will lead to a decrease in the population of rabbits in Queensland and a retraction in the northern limit of their distribution in Australia.

Keywordsbiological control, climate change, Myxomatosis, rabbit haemorrhagic disease, warren destruction
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020410407. Wildlife and habitat management
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Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland
Texas A&M University, United States
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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