Domestic rabbits were brought to Australia on the First Fleet in 1788, but wild rabbits were first let loose on the Australian bush in 1859, in Victoria. By 1886, they had reached the Queensland-NSW border. By 1910 they were generally widespread across the southern two-thirds of the continent.
Rabbits live in many different environments, from deserts to coastal plains. They are one of Australia's most destructive pests. They have a variety of impacts, including:
- reducing the regeneration of native plants, by grazing and ringbarking of saplings
- competing with native animals for food and shelter
- damaging historic and cultural sites, through soil erosion caused by overgrazing
- providing food for other pest animals, such as wild dogs, foxes and feral cats
Page last updated: 26 October 2011