Study

Changes in the vegetation and reptile populations on Round Island, Mauritius, following eradication of rabbits

  • Published source details North S.G., Bullock D.J. & Dulloo M.E. (1994) Changes in the vegetation and reptile populations on Round Island, Mauritius, following eradication of rabbits. Biological Conservation, 67, 21-28.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove or control invasive or problematic herbivores and seed eaters

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Remove or control invasive or problematic herbivores and seed eaters

    A before-and-after study in 1982 and 1989 on a volcanic island in Mauritius (North et al. 1994) found that European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus eradication resulted in increased encounter rates of four of six reptile species. Results were not tested statistically. Daytime encounter rates increased after rabbit eradication for four species (by 0.2–2.3 individuals/hour), decreased for one species (by 2.1 individuals/hour) and stayed the same for one species (0.5 individuals/hour both years). Night-time encounter rates increased for five species (by 0.2–1.7 individuals/hour) and stayed the same for one species (0 individuals/hour in both years). For six reptile species, the total number of individuals encountered was higher following rabbit removal (37–1,363 individuals/species seen) compared to before rabbit removal (8–883 individuals/species seen), though survey effort was higher in 1989 than in 1982. In 1986, rabbits were eradicated from the island over a period of 2 months using (an unspecified) poison. Goats had been removed by progressive shooting in 1978. Three areas on the island were searched for reptiles by teams of up to seven people that thoroughly searched all vegetation. In 1982, survey effort was 59 person hours/day and 25 person hours/night, and in 1989, effort was 117 person hours/day and 49 person hours/night.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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