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Rabbits and Myxomatosis

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Offline Clive

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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2008, 23:08 PM »
Hi all,

The search function here at the iberianature forum is quite a good place to start... :)

Lots of information here..
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?topic=812.0

Tore, are you saying that you have never encountered myxomatosis before? Is it not present in Norway? I thought it was everywhere now...
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Offline nick

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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2008, 09:26 AM »
Not much there about Rabbit haemorrhagic disease which is what I was referring to...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2008, 09:39 AM by nick »
Nick
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2008, 11:03 AM »
The link in an earlier post of mine gives a lot of information including history, first reported, taxonomy and symptoms of RHD
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?topic=812.msg11249#msg11249

The link is also full of names and email of the head honcho if you are after more info...
Here is the direct link http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=111445

I believe that after a partial "recovery" from myxomatosis affecting them through spring and summer rabbit populations then get hit by RHD over the winter months leaving them at very low population levels before the myxy spring hits them again. Coupled with the "Normal" mortality rates and natural predation on rabbits this has led to a huge population crashes across most countries certainly in Europe... The thing is that when they then "breed like rabbits" the sequence of population crash starts again...

I would like to see a map of RHD/myxomatosis coverage Europe wide if anyone can find one... I am interested in Tores comment seemingly not seen this disease up in the land of snow....
« Last Edit: November 11, 2008, 11:18 AM by Clive »
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Offline Tore

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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2008, 20:54 PM »
First things first,
Clive, the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), is virtually not found in Norway.
It exists only on 3 very small islands off the coast, Fedje (introduced 1875), Mølen (introduced 1899 and Edøy (introduced 1902).
We have a lot of hares though, which I have ...ted the length of the country, from North to South.
Your points and Lucy's were enlightening, as 2 of the rabbits that I saw on my run today were clearly blind in one eye and two eyes respectively (something I had never previously noticed, before you mentioned it). They hopped away at less than a meters distance, and were clearly not healthy.
Yet again, I stand enlightened by the Iberian nature forum.
Thanks
Tore
Tore

Offline Clive

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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2008, 21:16 PM »
Thanks for clearing up the rabbits in Norway thing Tore, I never knew that they weren't up there... Surprising they weren't introduced as a food source for humans and then given myxy when they bred out of hand... Seems that is what has happened in other places in the world. In fact, in Australia, scientists are still breeding even more stronger versions of RHD and myxy to try to control numbers... Interesting as well that rabbits were introduced to Australia so that the introduced English red fox had enough food for the red coated horse riding fox hunters to hunt... :)

One thing is for sure and that is here in Iberia the huge population crash has caused big problems for wildlife that depends on the rabbit as a food source,,, Lynx and Imperial eagle would be the two iconic species.... As a human food source I wouldn't want to eat one of the infected rabbits either... Thats why the hunters around here don't shoot them...

The best thing to do when you find any is kill them and bury them... Hopefully the ticks and fleas that carry the disease won't be able to pass on the virus from under the ground and flying vectors like blood sucking mosquitoes are avoided as well...

Any way I digress, Myxamotosis and RHD are horrible diseases in part created by man so I guess man will have to make a cure.... I have no updates at all on the progress of the GM strain that will be the cure...

Clive
« Last Edit: November 11, 2008, 21:21 PM by Clive »
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Offline nick

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« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2008, 22:10 PM »
Hi Tore,

I'm surprised rabbits are rare in Norway. They're pretty common in Scotland . though I guess that doesn't get so cold.
Nick
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Offline lucy

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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2009, 21:14 PM »
Hi all,
I've finally got round to putting my post back after the server hiccup.

The rabbit population in Collserola is currently undergoing a recovery after its latest crash.  When I took this photo last weekend I looked at it a bit anxiously for signs of illness.  The enormous eye looks ok, but the fur looks a bit uneven, or clumpy.  Do you think it looks healthy?

Offline Petrea

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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2009, 22:11 PM »
Concerning rabbits in Scandinavia: In Denmark they are found close to the border to Germany, where they can be a pest. Apparently, this is as far as they got without help - originating from Spain and France. They are present on a few islands in Denmark as well, but there, they have been introduced (illegally!).
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Offline steveT

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« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2014, 22:58 PM »
I was in La Pedriza last week. There was a lot of rabbit droppings but didn't see any. Does anyone know what is happening to the rabbit population at the moment?

The rabbit being indigenous to only Spain and S.France means it is a key prey species for many animals  and its decline due to myxamotosis ( and I think another disease ) was the main reason for the decline of the lynx.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 00:56 AM by Clive »