Bengsen, Andrew: Rabbits of Christmas past

Bengsen, Andrew

The rabbits of Christmas past: a present that backfired for Australia‘, The Conversation, 22 December 2014

Examines the history of rabbits in Australia from their introduction in 1859 to now, when they are present in 70 per cent of the continent. Controlling rabbits is relevant to combating climate change.

Rabbits inhabit most of the 143 million hectares of Australia’s Mulga woodlands. If their populations can be controlled, then there is considerable potential for natural carbon sequestration to help us meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Other invasive herbivores – such as camels and goats – can also reduce vegetation cover and plant carbon storage. However, we already have a solid understanding of the rabbit’s impact on the environment, and they are very widespread which means that their eradication could have large positive impacts.

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