Individual study: Effect of artificial warren size on a restocked European wild rabbit population
Rouco C., Villafuerte R., Castro F. & Ferreras P. (2011) Effect of artificial warren size on a restocked European wild rabbit population. Animal Conservation, 14, 117-123
This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.
Provide more small artificial breeding sites rather than fewer large sites
A replicated, controlled study in 2002–2005 of two grassland and scrubland plots at a site in Andalucia, Spain (Rouco et al. 2011) found that providing smaller artificial warrens for wild rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus supported higher rabbit densities than did larger artificial warrens. Rabbit density was higher in small artificial warrens (4–13 rabbits/12 m2 plot) than it was in large artificial warrens (11–24 rabbits/48 m2 plot). Two plots (4 ha each, 2 km apart) were fenced to exclude terrestrial predators. Each plot had 18 artificial warrens, comprising 12 small and six large warrens. Warrens were skeletons of wooden pallets covered by earth and branches. Large warrens (48 m2) were the size of four small warrens (12 m2). In autumn 2002, five rabbits were released into each small warren, and 20 rabbits were released into each large warren. Rabbits were surveyed by live-trapping, three times, from November 2004 to May 2005.
(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)