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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Response of cottontail rabbit-populations to herbicide and fire applications on Cross Timbers Rangeland

Published source details

Lochmiller R.L., Boggs J.F., McMurry S.T., Leslie D.M. & Engle D.M. (1991) Response of cottontail rabbit-populations to herbicide and fire applications on Cross Timbers Rangeland. Journal of Range Management, 44, 150-155


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Remove vegetation using herbicides Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1986–1988 of forest and grassland at a site in Oklahoma, USA (Lochmiller et al. 1991, same experimental set-up as Boggs et al. 1991 and Leslie Jr. et al. 1996) found that herbicide-treated pastures hosted more cottontail rabbits Sylvilagus floridanus than did untreated pastures during some, but not all, sampling seasons. In three of 10 comparisons, cottontails were more abundant in herbicide-treated pastures than in untreated pastures (0.8–1.1 vs 0.1–0.2 rabbits/ha), in two cases they were less abundant on treated than untreated pastures (0.0 vs 1.9 rabbits/ha) and for the other five comparisons no difference was detected. Four 32.4-ha pastures were treated with the herbicides tebuthiuron or triclopyr at a rate of 2.2 kg/ha in March or June 1983 and two were untreated control pastures. Rabbit density was estimated by walking transects three times each July and February, from July 1986 to February 1988.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Use prescribed burning Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1986–1988 of a forest and grassland site in Oklahoma, USA (Lochmiller et al. 1991) found that burning and spraying pastures with herbicide had mixed effects on cottontail rabbit Sylvilagus floridanus abundance when compared with spraying with herbicide alone. In seven of 10 comparisons, there was no significant difference between the number of cottontails found in pastures that were burned compared to those not burned. For three of 10 comparisons, there were more cottontails on burned areas (0.1–1.40 cottontails/ha) than on unburned areas (0–0.4). Eight 32-ha pastures were treated with the herbicides tebuthiuron or triclopyr (at 2.2 kg/ha in March 1983 or June 1983). Four of these pastures were burned in April 1985, 1986 and 1987. Rabbit density was estimated by walking transects, three times each July and February, from July 1986 to February 1988.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)