Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Free housing for declining populations: Optimizing the provision of artificial breeding structures

Published source details

D'Amico M., Tablado Z., Revilla E. & Palomares F. (2014) Free housing for declining populations: Optimizing the provision of artificial breeding structures. Journal for Nature Conservation, 22, 369-376


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

Release translocated mammals into fenced areas Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2004–2006 in 16 grassland sites in Andalusia, Spain (D'Amico et al. 2014) found that European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus bred in artificial warrens and that reproductive success was higher in fenced than in unfenced warrens. One hundred and twenty-one rabbit kittens were detected during 222 artificial warren observations (0.54/observation). More kittens were detected in fenced than in unfenced artificial warrens (data presented as model results). The study was conducted in sixteen 5-ha sites across two areas of Doñana National Park. Five artificial warrens in each site each consisted of a two-floor wooden structure (15 × 3 × 1 m) with 30 entrances, covered with a metallic net, ground cloth and sand. In eight sites, artificial warrens were fenced to deter terrestrial predators, with a 2-m tall metallic net that extended 0.5 m underground. In eight sites, warrens were not fenced. In each site, 5–19 rabbits/ha were released in October or November of 2004 or 2005. Rabbit reproductive success was surveyed the following year, between February and August, through observations of kittens in focal artificial warrens, using a spotting-scope.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)