Study

Influence of habitat management on the abundance and diet of wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus) populations in Mediterranean ecosystems

  • Published source details Ferreira C. & Alves P.C. (2009) Influence of habitat management on the abundance and diet of wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus) populations in Mediterranean ecosystems. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 55, 487-496

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or create grassland

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Remove vegetation by hand/machine

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Restore or create grassland

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2002 on a scrubland in southwest Portugal (Ferreira & Alves 2009) found that sowing pasture grasses into areas cleared of scrub did not increase densities of European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus. Rabbit pellet density after sowing of seeds (1.6–3.6 pellets/m2) did not differ significantly from that before sowing (1.5 pellets/m2). Trends in rabbit density were similar on an area not sown with seed (after: 1.1–1.3 pellets/m2; before: 0.5 pellets/m2). Two 300-ha study areas were located at least 3 km apart. In February 2001, scrub was cleared in 5-m-wide strips at both sites. Cleared strips at one site were then sown with two pasture grasses, rye Secale cereale and slender oat Avena barbat, and with subterranean clover Trifolium subterraneum. At the second site, no seeds were sown. Rabbit pellets were counted monthly, at fixed points along transects, from May 2001 to October 2002.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  2. Remove vegetation by hand/machine

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2000–2002 on scrubland in a nature reserve in southwest Portugal (Ferreira & Alves 2009) found that clearing scrub (through establishing firebreaks) increased densities of European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus. In areas where firebreaks were established average annual rabbit pellet densities (1.1–3.6/m2) were higher than prior to establishment of firebreaks (0.5–1.5/m2). Pellet densities were also higher than in areas where no firebreaks were established (firebreaks: 1.1–3.6/m2; no firebreaks: 0.4–2.2/m2). Four 300-ha sites, ≥3 km apart, were studied. In February 2001, areas of grassland were restored by cutting 5-m-wide firebreak strips through scrub. The other two sites remained unmanaged. Rabbit pellets were counted, monthly, at fixed points along transects, from May 2001 to October 2002.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

Output references

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