Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Observations on the impacts of rabbit haemorrhagic disease on agricultural production values in Australia

Glen Saunders, Barry Kay, Greg Mutze and David Choquenot

Wildlife Research 29(6) 605 - 613
Published: 30 December 2002


Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) may be the most important rabbit control agent to be made available to graziers in Australia since the advent of myxomatosis. Documenting the benefits of RHD to agricultural production values is an important process in determining best-practice strategies for the use of the disease in controlling rabbit populations. In this paper we review previous studies on the impact of rabbits and present recent Australian case studies that tracked the effects of RHD on agricultural production as the disease first spread across the continent. Indirect consequences of RHD, such as changes in costs of rabbit control as monitored through the use of 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate), are reported. Potential negative impacts such as adverse effects on the wild rabbit fur and meat trade and in the spread of woody weeds are also discussed.


© CSIRO 2002

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