Provision of artificial warrens as a means to enhance native wild rabbit populations: what type of warren and where should they be sited?

  • Published source details Fernández-Olalla M., Martínez-Jauregui M., Guil F. & San Miguel-Ayanz A. (2010) Provision of artificial warrens as a means to enhance native wild rabbit populations: what type of warren and where should they be sited?. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 56, 829-837.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial refuges/breeding sites

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Provide artificial refuges/breeding sites

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2007 of pasture and scrubland on 14 estates in central Spain (Fernández-Olalla et al. 2010) found higher usage of artificial warrens where rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus abundance was highest and that occupancy of tube warrens was higher than of stone warrens or pallet warrens. In grid squares where artificial warrens were used by rabbits, more rabbit latrines were found (13.5 latrines/km) than in squares where artificial warrens were not used (3.2 latrines/km). Authors report that it is unclear if artificial warrens boosted populations or if warren usage reflected pre-existing population levels. Occupancy of tube warrens (67% occupied) was greater than of stone or pallet warrens (54% occupied). Tube warrens (120 installed) comprised a labyrinth of concrete tubes 1 m underground. Stone warrens (207) were c.5 m diameter, with stones arranged to leave galleries and holes. Pallet warrens (198) were at least four wooden pallets, covered with soil. Rabbit latrines were surveyed along fixed routes within 98 squares in a 500 × 500 m grid, spread across 14 estates, in February–March 2007.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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