No evidence bunnies are doing damage

The concerns raised by Green Park Estates over domestic rabbits has been elevated to hysteria by Mark Fraker

Re: Act now before it’s too late.

The concerns raised by Green Park Estates over domestic rabbits has been elevated to hysteria by Mark Fraker, who calls for eradication of the “European rabbit” before it is too late and we suffer devastating damage and significantly disrupt the normal ecology.

He points to Australia as an example of the problem.

Nonsense.

We are not Australia, a desert and grassland ecosystem and the European rabbits that overran that ecosystem were the wild ancestors of the tame bunnies that the Green Park Estates worry about.

We are on Vancouver Island, largely a temperate rain-forest unsuited to rabbits, except for the dry Douglas fir ecosystem on the southeast which we have drastically altered to the benefit of a number of alien species including rats, gray squirrels and rabbits.

In the case of rabbits, only one, the little Eastern Cottontail has successfully occupied semi-natural habitat and there is no evidence that they have caused devastating damage to the ecosystem.

They are here to stay, and if you have a problem with them, the B.C. government allows you to dispatch them.

The harsh rap that the European rabbit gets is because of the dumping of Easter bunnies on institutional lands and affluent sub-divisions where they are protected from predators but love to eat the fine lawns and vegetation that their human hosts supply.

This is not normal ecology.

A quick search of the Internet finds reports on alien animals in B.C. showing wild European rabbits were introduced to several of the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island over the last century and though they initially prospered, they soon disappeared entirely because it was the wrong habitat.

Yes, domesticated European rabbits can cause damage to your flower beds, but they are a highly local problem and can be dealt with easily.

There is no need for alarmism and misinformation to fuel it.

These bunnies are quickly eliminated in the wilderness by many predators.

James K. Finley

Sidney