Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


D R. King


Rabbits, Survival, Pest control

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In the South-West of Western Australis reliable winter rains allow the rabbit breeding season to extend through winter and spring, and thus a large number of kittens are produced each year.

Studies on the biology of rabbits at Cape Naturaliste (270 kilometres south-west of Perth) and Chidlow (40 kilometres east of Perth in the Datling Range) have shown that at these sites each doe produces about 30 and 27 kittens respectively a year. If all these youg rabbits survived, there would be a 15-fold increase in numbers. Within a short time the State would be covered "wall to wall" by rabbits.

Studies by the Agricultural Protection Board research officers help us understand why this does not happen, and at the same time point the way to better and more cost effective control strategies.