The short-term effect of total predation exclusion on wild rabbit abundance in restocking plots

  • Published source details Guerrero-Casado J., Ruiz-Aizpurua L. & Tortosa F.S. (2013) The short-term effect of total predation exclusion on wild rabbit abundance in restocking plots. Acta Theriologica, 58, 415-418.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use fencing to exclude predators or other problematic species

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use fencing to exclude predators or other problematic species

    A replicated, controlled study in 2010 at a site in Sierra Morena, Spain (Guerrero-Casado et al. 2013) found that the abundance of translocated European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus was higher in areas fenced to exclude both terrestrial carnivores and raptors (top-closed) than in areas only accessible to raptors (top-open) during the six weeks after release. The weekly abundance of rabbits in top-closed plots (1.2-4.8 pellet abundance index) was higher than in top-open plots (0.7-3.2 pellet abundance index). The highest difference in rabbit abundance between top-closed and top-open plots was attained in the first 2 weeks. Five 0.5-ha plots, close together, were fenced (0.5 m below and 2 m above the ground with two electric wires and a floppy overhang) to exclude terrestrial carnivores. Each had five artificial warrens. Two plots had top net (top-closed) and three had no top net (top-open). Twenty-five adult wild rabbits (20 female) were released in each exclosure in February 2010. Rabbit abundance was estimated through pellet counts in 20 fixed 0.5-m2 circular sampling sites each week for six weeks after translocation.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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