Specieswatch: run rabbit – why they are disappearing from the countryside

Specieswatch: run rabbit – why they are disappearing from the countryside

They are blamed for damage to crops but numbers are falling due to predators and disease

The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is perhaps the most often seen mammal in the British countryside. It is also a favourite food for foxes, badgers, weasels, stoats and various birds of prey, especially buzzards, whose numbers often fluctuate depending on rabbit populations.

Yet the rabbit is classed as an invasive species. It was first imported by the Romans from its native habitat in the Iberian peninsula in about AD43. It did not thrive and was reintroduced again by the Normans before becoming established in England. It was so valued as a winter food source that the landed gentry had to have special permission to create a carefully guarded warren and the peasants were kept well away.

Continue reading…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

EnvironFriend

FREE
VIEW