The Bunny Problem

Bunnies have had a major impact on Australia, and not in a good way. Their latest assault has been in Macquerie Island. They have destroyed and eaten a lot of the natural vegetation, and have been doing this to Australia for 150 years. People in Australia are desperate to get rid of them.
    It all started when 24 rabbits were released for hunting one and a half hundred years ago. They were released so people could make Australia as much like England as they possibly could, and so their owners could hunt them, so it was hoped that they would breed and survive a lot. Now that they did and, before they could stop them, they were spreading all over Australia. They spread into Victoria and then as soon as 1880 had made it into NSW. After New South Wales, they went on to conquer Queensland and Southern Oz in 1886. Still the rabbits weren’t satisfied and in 1890 they were in and around eastern Western Australia. It was a disaster! The government built three fences that were rabbit proof but those didn’t really help because the rabbits had already spread into the areas that were fenced off. Australia were in trouble, and by 1920’s the population of rabbits had grown to about 10,000,000,000. Right now these pesky rabbits still inhabit 4,000,000 square kilometers in Australia. The part that they are in starts at NSW and ends at West Australia wheat region. They were able to do this because they have evolved and adapted to fit Australia’s environment and have started living in farms, the desert, grasslands, and wet plains along the coast, wrecking all the vegetation. They are also threatening the bilby and the burrowing bettong by stealing their burrows and competing for food. The rate that rabbits breed didn’t help (and doesn’t), they breed at the rate of 18-30 babies a year.
    People have been trying and trying to get rid of the bunny, but nothing worked. They have tried destroying rabbit burrows with force i.e. poison and fire. They also tried introducing a rabbit disease called Myxomatosis. This was very effective and killed about 99% of rabbits. Unfortunately, however, the ones who didn’t die made a comeback and now most of the rabbits are immune to the disease and also the disease came back in a different strand, which was not as effective.
    You may be thinking, evil person or bunny hater, but rabbits are a really big problem in Australia and it would be the best thing if bunnies were eradicated there (except for the adorable pet ones of course), and the local bush, the bilby, and the burrowing bettong will have a better chance of survival.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply