The local water company PWN plans to graze wild rabbits on the coastal dunes of Kastriecum, North Holland, to improve the natural environment and restore traditional habitats.
Rabbits are important because they prevent the growth of pests like the American black cherry and because they like to burrow, they provide a breeding ground for birds.
However, outbreaks of viruses such as myxomatosis have nearly wiped out the population.Rabbit added to red list endangered mammals 2020.
“The areas they release are poor in nutrients and vegetation, but rabbits can handle it. Their presence will create new habitats for other plants and animals. NH News.
Wild rabbits previously brought into shelters are placed in dune pens to acclimate before being released, checked for diseases and vaccinated against the most common ones.
The vaccine will protect rabbits for a year, during which time they are expected to grow into a more resilient population.
The idea of releasing wild rabbits in areas where there are no wild rabbits comes from France, where 60% of rabbits survive.
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