A few relatives of this cute, little rabbit ended up in Australia many years ago. This caused large, unexpected effects on the entire continent.
Find out how the rabbits, which are not native to Australia, ended up there, and what effect this had on the Australian wildlife and environment.
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The rabbits were introduced from England to Australia around 1859, by an Englishman who enjoyed rabbit hunting in England, and wanted to continue with this in his new home country. The rabbits had no natural enemies and multiplied fast. Ten years after their introduction to Australia more than 2 million rabbits were caught annually, with no noticeable effect on the population. The rabbits outcompeted native species, they eat all vegetation, leading to erosion, and rabbits are today a large problem for Australian farmers. (Google – Australian rabbit fence (not the movie)).
The estimated yearly loss due to rabbits in Australia is around 200 million Australia dollars, around 1,3 billion NOK. Quite an achievement by such cute little animals?
You will learn more about the rabbit problem in Australia, as well as other environmental challenges in the subject “Environmental systems and societies”.