Nav: Home

When rabbits and hares are introduced to new areas: Factors to consider

July 05, 2018

Throughout history, humans have deliberately translocated rabbits and hares (leporids) around the world, so they now occupy every continent (except Antarctica). A new Mammal Review article examines studies on the 12 leporid species that have been introduced by humans to areas beyond their native ranges, highlighting the animals' effects on the ecosystem at different levels.

The authors note that leporids can provide food resources to predators, modify nutrient availability and soil structure, compete with native herbivores, consume crops, and have other impacts. Therefore, conservation biologists should carefully consider the contrasting effects of leporids when planning management strategies including these species.

"Although conservation issues and economic costs produced by rabbits' introductions around the world are well known, there is a lack of systematic information about this regarding their closest relatives. Hares and rabbits share some biological traits which could make them successful invaders and profoundly change the invaded regions. Perhaps one of the most notorious effects (among the many that they produce), is that they constitute a new and abundant food resource to a wide variety of predators, ultimately changing biological communities," said co-author Dr. Facundo Barbar, of Universidad Nacional del Comahue, in Argentina. "Considering all introduced leporid species and their many effects on the ecosystems in crucial at the time of planning conservation strategies."
-end-


Wiley

Related Predators Articles:

Marine predators: Bigger in size with an appetite to match
The size of marine invertebrate predators has increased over the past 500 million years, while the size of their prey has not, a new study reveals.
Predators are real lowlifes
By deploying green clay caterpillar models across six continents, researchers unmasked an important global pattern.
Fish step up to lead when predators are near
Researchers from the University of Bristol have discovered that some fish within a shoal take on the responsibilities of leader when they are under threat from predators.
Restoring predators and prey together speeds recovery
Restoring predator and prey species together helps accelerate ecosystem recovery efforts compared to pursuing restoration of one species at a time, new research concludes.
Recovering predators and prey
Researchers show how simultaneously restoring predators and prey is much faster and more effective than doing so one at a time.
Reducing pressure on predators, prey simultaneously is best for species' recovery
Reducing human pressure on exploited predators and prey at the same time is the best way to help their populations recover, a new study indicates.
When it comes to predators, size matters
When it comes to predators, scientists find larger sheephead that consume bigger urchins help keep that population under control.
Birds of a feather flock together to confuse potential predators
Scientists from the universities of Bristol and Groningen, in The Netherlands, have created a computer game style experiment which sheds new light on the reasons why starlings flock in massive swirling groups over wintering grounds.
For viral predators of bacteria, sensitivity can be contagious
Scientists have shown for the first time how bacteria with resistance to a viral predator can become susceptible to it after spending time in the company of other susceptible or 'sensitive' bacteria.
How miniature predators get their favorite soil bacteria
Tiny predators in the soil can literally sniff out their prey: soil bacteria, which communicate with each other using scent.

Related Predators Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".