Rabbits threaten Australia harvests

2012-02-10 09:29
Sydney - Abundant rain over most of Australia in the past two years has delivered record harvests - and record numbers of rabbits, news reports said on Friday.

Farmers thought the intentional release of the rabbit-borne calicivirus in the 1990s would knock out a feral population of the non-native, invasive species that was beginning to recover after the devastating effect of the release of the disease myxomatosis in 1950.

Young rabbits not killed by the calicivirus are immune to it and have thrived in the post-drought period in a country that sees millions of dollars in damage to its crops, erosion and species loss because of the animals.

"Numbers are now back around those numbers that we saw pre-calicivirus," John Matthews, a pest control officer in the Victorian state government, told the national broadcaster ABC.

Before myxomatosis carried off an estimated one-sixth of the rabbit population, an estimated 600 million rabbits roamed the Australian continent.

Scientists are working on new strains of the calicivirus.

- SAPA
Read more on:    animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mood swings and emotional rollercoaster rides are still on the cards for most of today. The most important thing is to consciously...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.