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Australian Mammalogy Australian Mammalogy Society
Journal of the Australian Mammal Society

A new longevity record for a wild European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) from South Australia

David E. Peacock A * and Ron G. Sinclair B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Davies Livestock Research Centre, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy, SA 5371, Australia.

B School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy, SA 5371, Australia.

* Correspondence to:

Handling Editor: Stuart Cairns

Australian Mammalogy 46, AM23032
Submitted: 23 June 2023  Accepted: 5 September 2023  Published: 21 September 2023

© 2024 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Australian Mammal Society.


A population of wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was regularly monitored from November 1996 to April 2022, using mark–recapture as part of a longitudinal epidemiological study into two Australian rabbit biocontrol agents, rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) and myxomatosis. A female rabbit, first captured as a subadult on 26 October 2009, was recaptured 16 times before its final capture on 19 February 2019. The longevity of this rabbit, from its calculated birth date to the date of its last capture, was 9.5 years. This is a record lifespan for a wild European rabbit – acknowledging that such longevity might be specific to our site in temperate South Australia. It exceeds our previous reported record from the same site by 2 years.

Keywords: European rabbit, live-trap, longevity, mark–recapture, myxomatosis, RHD, survival, Turretfield.


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