Effects of wildfires and post-fire forest treatments on rabbit abundance

  • Published source details Rollan A. & Real J. (2011) Effects of wildfires and post-fire forest treatments on rabbit abundance. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 57, 201-209.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove burnt trees and branches after wildfire

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Remove burnt trees and branches after wildfire

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2006–2008 of a pine-dominated forest in Catalonia, Spain (Rollan & Real 2011) found that removing burned trees and branches after wildfire did not alter European wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus numbers compared to removing burned trees but leaving branches in place. There was no significant difference between rabbit pellet numbers in plots with trees and branches removed (1,400–5,100 pellets/plot) and those with trees removed but branches left in place (3,100–7,700 pellets/plot). High intensity wildfire in summer 2003 burned 4,600 ha of forest. Plots (100 × 100 m) were established, 200–6,615 m apart. All plots had burnt trees trunks removed in 2004. In 20 plots, branches were left on the ground. In 10 plots, branches were initially left on the ground, but most were then removed in spring 2006, though some were piled up and left in the plots. Rabbit relative abundance was assessed in June of 2006, 2007 and 2008 by counting latrines in 500 × 2 m transects.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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