Developing a census method based on sight counts to estimate rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) numbers

  title={Developing a census method based on sight counts to estimate rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) numbers},
  author={D. Poole and D. Cowan and Graham C. Smith},
  journal={Wildlife Research},
A rabbit-census method, based on systematic counts conducted at night or at dawn and dusk, was developed and validated in terms of estimating the total number of rabbits present in a given area. Initially, models were developed under semi-natural conditions to describe the relationships between the numbers of rabbits counted and population size. Confidence limits were also calculated. The models were developed by comparing rabbit counts with the actual number of rabbits present, from a known… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Towards a standardized index of European rabbit abundance in Iberian Mediterranean habitats
A standard methodology based on cleared-plot pellet counts in permanent plots corrected for pellet persistence could be used to monitor rabbit abundance on a large scale. Expand
Assessment of methods for estimating wild rabbit population abundance in agricultural landscapes
Night counts provided better estimates than did dusk counts and exhibited more precision, and estimates based on direct methods were highly correlated and detected similar seasonal population changes. Expand
A serial cross-sectional study of the prevalence of rabbit haemorrhagic disease on three farms in the lower North Island of New Zealand
The temporal pattern of outbreaks measured by peaks of seroprevalence differed between closely-spaced farms when they had different Rabbit densities, but were similar when rabbit densities were similar. Expand
Long-term decline of the European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in south-western Spain
Trends in a population of European rabbits monitored over 23 years in the Donana National Park are analysed and it is hypothesized that density-dependent factors caused by enzootic viral diseases (myxomatosis, RHD) and higher predation of rabbits are the main factors preventing recovery of rabbit numbers. Expand
Introduced European Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Domestic Cats (Felis catus) on Robben Island: Population Trends and Management Recommendations
It is recommended that a thorough risk assessment be carried out and a holistic management strategy, rather than a single-species approach, be formulated, for the Robben Island rabbit population. Expand
Overcoming the challenges of measuring the abundance of a cryptic macropod: is a qualitative approach good enough?
It is suggested that a rapid survey based on activity indices can be used to evaluate quantitatively the population size of a species that is rare and potentially mobile at a landscape scale and is practical for resource-constrained land managers. Expand
The value of a random sampling design for annual monitoring of national populations of larger British terrestrial mammals
Making use of an extensive network of volunteer birdwatchers, this study illustrates how a large-scale monitoring scheme originally designed for common breeding birds can be adapted to also provideExpand
Monitoring population size of mammals using a spotlight-count-based abundance index: How to relate the number of counts to the precision?
Abstract Abundance indices are widely used to study changes in population size in wildlife management. However, a truly appropriate measure of precision is often lacking in such studies.Expand
Costs and benefits of rabbit control options at the local level
A Decision Support System (DSS) is reported on to help landowners calculate the costs and benefits of managing the rabbit population on a field-by-field, or crop- by-crop, basis and produces an audit trail of the key calculations for quality assurance purposes. Expand
Seasonal Abundance and Management Implications for Wild Rabbits ( Oryctolagus cuniculus ) on La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain.
Adjusting hunting seasons to seasonal variations in rabbit abundance could be used to control populations of this species. Expand


A test of the recapture method of estimating the number of rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus (L.), in a warren
There was no significant difference between marked and unmarked rabbits in their tendency to disperse from the warren, and an additional method of estimating population size from recapture data was used and confirmed the estimates from the usual recapture technique. Expand
Spotlight counts for assessing abundance of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.)
It is determined that spotlight counts along fixed transects before and after a control operation can be used to estimate percentage kill with acceptable precision if the kill rate is at least 80%. Expand
Estimating Cottontail Abundance from Livetrapping Data
Estimates of cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) abundance were derived from several estimating equations applied to data obtained by livetrapping a confined population of known size on the OlentangyExpand
Spotlight counts, site fidelity and migration of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Regardless of their sex and age, the persistence of 76 rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) translocated onto 5 different sites with relatively low rabbit densities was identical to that of resident rabbits, suggesting that biases in population estimates could result in some situations. Expand
Abstract Simple counts of individuals are commonly used in studies of mammalian populations. However, such counts are known to routinely underestimate population size. When used, counts are assumedExpand
The Distribution of Rabbit Warrens at Mitchell, Queensland, in Relation to Soil and Vegetation Characteristics*
There is a significant correlation between the estimated numbers of rabbits in the population, the total number of rabbits seen on spotlight transect counts in the evening, the numbers of rabbit seen on warrens during late afternoon watches, and thetotal number of active burrow entrances present in the study area. Expand
Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus populations in Scotland since the introduction of myxomatosis
A Rabbit survey of Scotland was carried out in 1991 following the methods used for previous surveys in 1969, 1970, 1973 and 1974. The survey was split into direct field and postal questionnaireExpand
Can predators regulate wild Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus population density in England and Wales
The circumstantial and corroborative evidence leads strongly to the conclusion that predator pressure can act as an additive rather than compensatory mortality factor in some circumstances, and can thus be a potential regulating factor. Expand
Distribution and Population Size of Romerolagus diazi on El Pelado Volcano, Mexico
Distribution and population size of the volcano rabbit or zacatuche ( Romerolagus diazi ) were investigated at El Pelado volcano, one of the four remaining core distribution areas left in Mexico.Expand
Estimating Rabbit Density by Counting Dung Pellets
The relationship between cumulative rabbit density (number of rabbit-days) and density of dung-pellets was examined in six enclosures, each 0.5 ha, in subalpine vegetation in Kosciusko National Park,Expand