Can they really survive?

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Ambersil

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My intro thread reminded me that here in Australia Queensland has banned the keeping of rabbits for a long time and I wonder about that. I assume it's because they are somewhat ill informed about domestic rabbits escaping and surviving to breed more in the wild.

How likely is that really? I mean even if a rabbit is lucky enough to survive or avoidattacks from a predator are they really going to be able to live through droughts or winter? Be able to find water?

It's horrible to think about I know but in terms of survival introducing domestic rabbits to a wild strain would weaken their hardiness and make them more susceptable to predators? Lady couldn't survive... apart from being giant, albino and blind she just wouldn't have a clue about how to find water or even enough food. Couldn't breed anyway as she's desexed :D but she'd probably see a fox and say: YAY! Play with me!

Yet I think about it and I have seen a dutch living with wild rabbits before.Not the nicest question but I do wonder.
 

Saudade

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Rabbits are surprisingly hardy, in Queensland there are very few wild rabbits, but as you know rabbits breed, well, like rabbits... and if someone started breeding rabbits accidentally and started releasing the young ones in to the wild because they couldn't deal with keeping them, then there would be exponential growth. There are many conspiracy theories that state that the legislation against keeping rabbits is being swayed by the divisions of public services who keep the rabbit proof fence maintained (even though it's been proven that it doesn't work in some areas).

There used to be exceptions to those rules, but now they've been killed off.

So yes your rabbits can survive in the wild, the nearby areas where I live are proof of that, they're rampant with purebred and mixed breeds. I've considered capturing some of these beautiful rabbits and saving them from the culling that's going on. But they're merely pipe dreams.
 

Ambersil

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I imagine young rabbits could adapt and certainly to suburban areas - there's a bunch of domestic rabbits that live under the Harbour bridge I think. Here in Canberra our fox population is so high andso confident in built up areasthat I think they'd pick off anything that wasn't a normal color which explains the total lack of anything other than a normal colored bun.That's the irony I guess -feralcreatures controlling feral creatures.

I never quite got the rabbit proof fence... it is rabbit proof sure, but isn't there rabbits on both sides?... You'll have to excuse my ignorance. Australian history is not my strong point.. funnily enough.
 

Saudade

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The idea is that you kill rabbits off on one side of the fence. It just cuts off their ability to reproduce with other buns outside the state. Though personally I think someone should just empty a couple of truckloads of rabbits over the fence. That way they'd have to give up and legalise rabbits.
 

Numbat

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That would cause a big disturbance in the environment. I think they should legalise pet rabbits but make it compulsory to get them desexed. Apparently if you register as a magician you can keep them :expressionless
 

peppa and georgie

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So being ignorant here but why is the rest of the world happy to have them but not queensland ?? I dont really understand why they are so against them but no one else is. I need educating on this subject clearly lol xx
 

Ambersil

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I looked on the state Governments website and they say:

Queensland is the only state to keep an area free of rabbits by maintaining a rabbit-proof fence and controlling rabbit populations in the area. Allowing rabbits to be kept within the area protected by the fence may endanger this rabbit-free status.

Keeping rabbits as pets and farm animals in other states can cause problems with biological control agents such as rabbit calicivirus disease which is used to control wild rabbits.

Rabbits are Australia's most destructive agricultural and environmental introduced animal pest, costing between $600 million and $1 billion annually. They cause severe land degradation and soil erosion and threaten the survival of many rare and endangered species of native wildlife. For this reason, keeping rabbits as pets is strongly opposed by many rural landholders and conservationists.


I understand where they have recieved theirreasoningbutthey also haveferal water buffalo, horses, cats, dogs,camels and donkeys that tear up the land yet they're still legal and unlicenced.Anywho aparently it's the most commonly owned illegal pet in the state (ferrets are also illegal and in Australia you require a licence for a lot of animals).But get this... Maximum fine for keeping a rabbit as a pet is $30,000!!!! They advise that you hand your pet over to the local council and no suprises what they do. This really isn't cheerful stuff.
 

peppa and georgie

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God what a nightmare, yes i can see their reasoning but seems odd that no where else has decided it is problem enough to cause them to enforce such strict rules.
I dont think i understand it enough as surely in the food chain there should be enough prey and predators to even things out but i supose that has been interfered with and so upset the balance. But like you say other species are left alone and the fine is horrendous but not as bad as the fate of your poor bunny would be ... No moving there then xx
 

Ambersil

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No Queensland for me either! The Australian balance in fauna really has been totally skewed and rabbits have been TOTALLY out of control in the past. There's something about Australia that when it seemsa feral animal appears they just explode in population - we don't really havetoo many large native predators on the mainland (just in the sea!!) which doesn't help. ARGH - we study the Australian ecosystem at uni and it's just one big mess with so many feral species :( Poor wild buns are just trying to live but they sure can breed :(.

I wonder if they have hares in Queensland. We have them here in Canberra - I love seeing them out and about, they're so beautiful and there's not too many around. I'm so used to being told that feral animals are the spawn of all evil that I almost feel bad saying that.

They probably changed the magician law because they got a huge influx of people registering as magicians!
 

Saudade

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Something that not many people realise is that Australia has like four natural predators.

Dingoes
A variety of hawks and eagles
Crocodiles
Snakes

Most of these animals are spread over a huge distance as prey is quite hard to find. Plus crocodiles won't eat rabbits.

There are none of the regular checks and controls that keep rabbit populations in balance. Plus the Australian environment is perfect for rabbits, they always have a great supply of food and have all the right temperatures.
 

peppa and georgie

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I suppose it is maybe similar to the fox problem over here, although i personally dont believe in fox hunting or see them as a problem, they do create problems for other people. It is hard to be objective when looking at such cute furry inocent looking little bundles hey lol xx
 

Numbat

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Foxes were introduced over here to control rabbits and now they're a problem too! :p
 

DazyDaizee

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In MA you can only own a ferret if it is de-sexed. You can only own an intact ferret if you register and pay a fee for a breeder's license. I think this should be mandatory for all pets because we clearly have a problem with overpopulation of cats, dogs, rabbits, ect. People just breed indiscriminately and let animals go. Irresponsible owners lead to bans on owning certain species or even certain breeds of dogs. This is ridiculous to me. I believe that as a responsible pet owner, you will take precautions to ensure your pet doesn't breed and is never released into the wild. I would love to see stricter laws enforced on owning and breeding pets.
If you could only legally own an altered animal, then the threat of environment destruction is minimal because the animals couldn't breed and colonize. And irresponsible people may be less likely to own animals with stricter laws in place.

Just my opinion. A few stupid people can ruin things for everyone else.
 

Ambersil

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I agree that altering is the best way to go but I can say for certain that even where I live people scoffed at the idea of having my rabbit desexed. It was a pain for me to try and find a vet that had any experiencewhatsoever desexing a female rabbit. As it turns out it was the RSPCA vet who considered it to be a very regular procedure.

I wish there were any easy way toencourage people to own altered pets but honestly there are far to many people who consider that breeding animals indescriminatly, regardless of species, is a good way to make money. I guess it's the same problem everywhere you look and it's very difficult to breeding under control.

It makes me so sad because responsible breeding really would allow people to enjoy animals in states like Queensland where a number of animals are illegaland control dumpage rates. But it's one very big challenge.
 

Numbat

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DazyDaizee wrote:
In MA you can only own a ferret if it is de-sexed. You can only own an intact ferret if you register and pay a fee for a breeder's license. I think this should be mandatory for all pets because we clearly have a problem with overpopulation of cats, dogs, rabbits, ect. People just breed indiscriminately and let animals go. Irresponsible owners lead to bans on owning certain species or even certain breeds of dogs. This is ridiculous to me. I believe that as a responsible pet owner, you will take precautions to ensure your pet doesn't breed and is never released into the wild. I would love to see stricter laws enforced on owning and breeding pets.
If you could only legally own an altered animal, then the threat of environment destruction is minimal because the animals couldn't breed and colonize. And irresponsible people may be less likely to own animals with stricter laws in place.

Just my opinion. A few stupid people can ruin things for everyone else.
:nod :yeahthat:
 

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