Study

The effect of exclusion of terrestrial predators on short-term survival of translocated European wild rabbits

  • Published source details Rouco C., Ferreras P., Castro F. & Villafuerte R. (2008) The effect of exclusion of terrestrial predators on short-term survival of translocated European wild rabbits. Wildlife Research, 35, 625-632

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use fencing to exclude predators or other problematic species

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Release translocated mammals into fenced areas

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use fencing to exclude predators or other problematic species

    A replicated, controlled study in 2002–2003 in four grassland and shrubland sites in south-west Spain (Rouco et al. 2008) found that the survival of translocated European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus was similar between a plot fenced to exclude predators and an unfenced plot, but that abundance was higher in fenced plots. Three months after translocation, rabbit survival in fenced plots (40%) was not significantly different to survival in unfenced plots (57%). However, four months after translocation, the relative abundance of rabbits was higher in fenced than in unfenced plots (data presented as log pellet abundance/plot). Four translocation plots (>1 km apart), each 4 ha with 18 artificial warrens surrounded by low fencing, were established in the south of Sierra Norte of Seville Natural Park. Two plots were fenced (1 m below and 2.5 m above ground, with an electric wire on top) and two unfenced. A total of 724 wild rabbits were released in similar numbers into each plot distributed evenly between warrens. Rabbit survival was based on 45 radio-collared rabbits (19 in one fenced and 26 in one unfenced plot) located 5-7 times/week for 15 weeks. Abundance was estimated four months after translocation by counting pellets in ten 18-cm-diameter circles/warren.

  2. Release translocated mammals into fenced areas

    A replicated, controlled study in 2002–2003 in three grassland and shrubland sites in south-west Spain (Rouco et al. 2008) found that the survival of translocated rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus was similar between fenced and unfenced areas but that abundance was higher in areas fenced to exclude predators. Three months after translocation, rabbit survival did not differ significantly between fenced and unfenced plots (0.57 vs 0.4). However, four months after translocation the relative abundance of rabbits was higher in fenced than in unfenced plots (data presented as log abundance). Two fenced (1 m below and 2.5 m above ground with an electric wire on top) and two unfenced translocation areas (4 ha, 18 artificial warrens each) were established in Los Melonares, Sierra Norte of Seville Natural Park. A total of 724 wild rabbits were released in similar numbers into each area. Rabbit survival was based on 45 radio-collared rabbits (19 in fenced and 26 in unfenced areas). Abundance was estimated four months after translocation through pellet counts in 10 circular plots (18 cm diameter).

Output references

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