Parks department assessing feral domestic-breed rabbit population

Aug. 7, 2018 / For Immediate Release

AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – The City of Airdrie Parks department is currently assessing the population of feral domestic-breed rabbits in the City and is looking for residents’ help in identifying problem areas.

“We’re looking for information about neighbourhoods in which wild, non-native rabbits are prolific,” says Cheryl Lowe, Natural Area Technician with City of Airdrie. “We’re talking to other municipalities who have dealt with infestations of these rabbits and may look into best practices for controlling the population.”

Feral domestic-breed rabbits are house-pet breeds or descendants of house-pet breeds that have populated on their own. They are not jackrabbits native to Airdrie. To distinguish between rabbits native to Airdrie and feral domestic-breed rabbits, visit www.airdrie.ca/rabbits. If you’ve seen feral domestic-breed rabbits in your neighbourhood, please email parks@airdrie.ca with details about location, number of rabbits and how often you’ve seen them.

Feral domestic-breed rabbits are a problem because they breed every 31 days and produce six to eight rabbits per litter. The native population only breeds one to two times a year, and produce approximately four rabbits per litter. This means a feral domestic-breed rabbit could produce approximately 70 to 80 rabbits a year, in comparison to the native jackrabbit, who produces approximately eight rabbits per year. A high rabbit population creates a wildlife attractant for animals such as coyotes.

An infestation of feral domestic-breed rabbits can also ruin property and cause damage and death to mature trees. Feral domestic-breed rabbits that are not given proper care can carry and spread disease.

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Media contact:
Cheryl Lowe
Natural Area Technician, Parks
403-948-8400 ext 6387
cheryl.lowe@airdrie.ca

 

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