Population dynamics of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in north eastern Australia: Simulated responses to control Academic Article uri icon


  • 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. 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Scanlan, J. C., Berman, D. M., & Grant, W. E.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Scanlan, JC||Berman, DM||Grant, WE

publication date

  • July 2006