Why no rabbit predators?

To: David Rees <>
Subject: Why no rabbit predators?
From: Alberta Hayes via Canberrabirds <>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2021 07:50:38 +0000
I live near the ANU and go walking there every day. Last night I was there at about 10pm after I finished work and saw 4 kits (baby foxes) playing around in the ANU near Old Canberra House. They did not seem interested (or perhaps didn't see) the large rat that was eating the photinia, but were very interested in a large thistle nearby. They were rolling near it and sniffing it while jumping around one another. I suspect they will soon be too fat to jump around quite so much. 

I didn't see any owls or frogmouths, but there were a few sugar gliders and of course many brushtail possums about. 


On Sat, 9 Oct 2021 at 17:48, David Rees via Canberrabirds <> wrote:

The 'classic' predator of the Rabbit is of course the Fox. The bunnies are working overtime ATM. Campbell Park has many young ones right now for example. Eagles would find it hard to hunt in such wooded areas, relative to an open environment.  In Europe for example the Common Buzzard is probably the main raptor bunny killer, and are generally fairly common birds in southern and western Europe where rabbits are common.  Little eagles here would be a bit bigger and could do the job, but are rather uncommon these days. Guess its warren fumigation, doctored carrots etc. Given the conditions, I suspect the bunnies will outrun any local predators.


On 9/10/2021 12:17 pm, Fleur Leary via Canberrabirds wrote:
Question for the chatline: there is a proliferation of rabbits living beside Lake Burley Griffin from Molonglo Reach through to the ANU but they don't appear to be preyed upon by Wedge Tailed Eagles. Is this because this area is too built up? Do other birds of prey take rabbits (owls?) ? Or is it just that the rabbits breed too fast for predation to make an impact on their numbers? 

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