Despite the current drought affecting rabbit populations, the ever-present pest is expected to rebound in numbers very quickly once the drought breaks, according to Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia Chair Professor Wayne Meyer.
“It is easy to forget that 70 years ago Australia had a wild rabbit population estimated at 6 billion, wreaking havoc on agriculture, soil and the environment despite billions killed by trapping, shooting and poisoning,” he said.
“The breakthrough was of course myxomatosis and 45 years later RHDV (calicivirus).
“Neither of these was an accident; they were the outcome of thorough, hard-slog, scientific research.”
RFA is a publicly subscribed fund to support research, raise awareness and encourage on-ground action to eradicate wild rabbits in Australia.
“RFA’s uniquely forward-looking policies keep it ‘ahead of the game’,” Professor Meyer said.
“Over the past three years we have invested over $85,000 in research and awareness raising projects, including publication of Bruce Munday’s widely acclaimed book, Those Wild Rabbits – How they shaped Australia.
“We are proud of our contribution to the understanding and development of effective and humane rabbit control, made possible by our members’ annual subscriptions, generous direct donations, along with substantial royalties from Haighs’ Easter Bilby sales.”
Rabbit-Free Australia is currently offering new memberships at a special price for anyone wanting to help keep science ahead of the rabbit.
For more information on RFA projects, membership opportunities, and the latest news about rabbits, see the RFA website (www.rabbitfreeaustralia.com.au), or follow RFA on Facebook (@RabbitFreeAustralia) or Twitter (@EastaBilby) to join the conversation.
For information on the new member package, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.