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

Impact of rabbit haemorrhagic disease on introduced predators in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia

C. Holden and G. Mutze

Wildlife Research 29(6) 615 - 626
Published: 30 December 2002


The impact of rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) on the population dynamics and diet of foxes and feral cats was studied in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Populations of both foxes and cats decreased substantially some 6–10 months after the advent of RHD, when rabbit numbers were reduced by 85%. The diet of foxes changed as a result of reduced rabbit numbers, with much less rabbit and more invertebrates and carrion being eaten. The physical condition of foxes showed little change after RHD. The diet of cats did not change markedly, but their physical condition was substantially poorer than before RHD. Total predation on native fauna is considered to have decreased after RHD.


© CSIRO 2002

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