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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) restocking: effects on abundance and spatial distribution

Published source details

Guil F., Higuero R. & Moreno‐Opo R. (2014) European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) restocking: effects on abundance and spatial distribution. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 38, 524-529


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/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 2004–2007 in three mixed pasture and scrubland sites in southwest Spain (Guil et al. 2014) found that translocating European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus into areas with artificial refuges to supplement existing populations did not alter rabbit abundance, though populations persisted at two of three sites for at least three years. Three years after artificial warrens were built and rabbits were released, rabbit abundance was not significantly different to that before warrens were built (no data reported). In two of three sites, the rabbit population persisted for at least three years, but at one site no rabbits were seen three years after release. In 2004, at three sites, 20–72 artificial warren tubes were installed. In autumn 2004, wild translocated rabbits were released at each site and, in autumn 2005, more rabbits were released at two of the sites. In total, 150–387 rabbits were released at each site. Rabbit presence was detected at two of the sites before releases of translocated animals. In June–September of 2004–2007, rabbit droppings were counted along 10–12 transects, each 500 m long.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)