Grain sowing aimed at wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus L. enhancement in Mediterranean environments

  • Published source details Guil F., Fernandez-Olalla M., Martinez-Jauregui M., Moreno-Opo R., Agudín S. & San M.A. (2014) Grain sowing aimed at wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus L. enhancement in Mediterranean environments. Journal for Nature Conservation, 22, 552-558.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant crops to provide supplementary food for mammals

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Plant crops to provide supplementary food for mammals

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 2004–2006 of forest, scrub and grassland mosaics on 14 estates in central Spain (Guil et al. 2014) found that sown grain crops were used more by, and had a higher abundance of, European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus relative to uncropped areas. Cropped plots had more rabbit latrines (52 latrines/km transect) than did uncropped plots (19 latrines/km transect). Rabbit relative abundance increased on sown areas (after sowing: 2.0 rabbits/km transect; before: 1.3) but not elsewhere on estates (after sowing: 3.0 rabbits/km transect; before: 3.3). Fourteen private estates in central Spain were studied. Across these, 125 plots were sown with barley and oat seed, at 150 kg/ha, in 2004–2006. There were 3–19 treatment plots/estate of 0.04–43.07 ha extent. For each treatment plot, an unsown control plot, ≥200 m away, with similar broad characteristics, was selected. Rabbit latrines were counted along transects in sown and unsown plots in late spring. Relative abundance was assessed by counting rabbits from transects in spring, before and after sowing.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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