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

Scanlan, J.C. and 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.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2006.02.008

Publisher URL: http://www.elsevier.com

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 Australia. 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 Queensland. 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.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:QPIF, Biosecurity Queensland, DNR&W
Additional Information:© Elsevier.
Keywords:Biological control; climate change; myxomatosis; rabbit haemorrhagic disease; warren destruction.
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Modelling > Animal
Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Animal control and ecology
Science > Statistics > Simulation modelling
Deposited On:16 Nov 2009 06:25
Last Modified:16 Nov 2009 06:25

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