The Washington Times-Herald

Community

July 1, 2014

Cottontail rabbits raised in the wild is a different story

In a past column I related how an amphibian, the cane toad, has had a very negative impact on Australia, Hawaii, and other sites over the globe. Another animal, this one a mammal, had and still has caused Australia even more trouble than the cane toad. This creature is the European rabbit. Now this is not our cottontail, the common rabbit here in Indiana. Here, while hunted, the cottontail is our “bunny,” “Easter bunny,” and “Peter Cottontail” most people like.

The European rabbit is larger than the cottontail and is the species that has been domesticated into the various forms raised in pens all over America. It is fine to raise this rabbit in captivity, but in the wild where they are not native it’s a different story.

In the United States, the European rabbit has escaped in some locations, especially in the San Juan Islands of Washington state, and have become a problem. It is Australia where the tale of the European rabbit becomes a horrible story. It all began as early as 1778 when the first European settlers brought a few rabbits with them. At this time they only became established on the island of Tasmania off the coast of Australia.

It was not until 1859 that a farmer brought 24 European rabbits to mainland Australia. He wanted to use them for meat but some escaped and the apocalypse began. A female European rabbit in a warm country like Australia can have up to six or even more litters of up to 12 baby rabbits a year. As there were no native predators in Australia, as can be expected there was a population explosion.

A century after the rabbits escaped it was estimated there were 600 million rabbits in Australia. Rabbits love to eat and eat they did. In some areas the ground was stripped of all vegetation. The rabbit warrens, as their burrows are known, were a problem for farmers as was the loss to their farm crops.

Text Only
Community
  • Spry Anni. NAME celebrates anniversary The children and grandchildren of Van and Joy Spry will host an open house to celebrate the couple's 50th wedding anniversary from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Simon Graber Complex. All friends and family are invited. No gifts please, just the hono

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Daviess County Court News Infractions James D. Allen, Washington, disregarding stop sign, $119.50. Donald R. Anderson, Evansville, speeding, $119.50. Kristi J. Barley, Washington, speeding, $119.50. Kaylee R. Bath, Washington, failure of occupant to use safety belt, $25. Jami

    July 26, 2014

  • Bledsoe makes dean's list at Anderson Megan Bledsoe of Washington has been named to the dean's list at Anderson University for the spring semester of the 2013-14 academic year. To be named to the dean's list, a student must earn a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a scale

    July 26, 2014

  • Capture.JPG MAP: Local Yard Sales

    Here are the local yard sales for this weekend. To get your yard sale on a future map, call 812-254-0480, ext. 111.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • TODAY's Area Briefs Hope House to give out food, clothesHope House, 704 W. Van Trees St., will be open from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday to give free food and clothing to anyone in need. Hope House is a ministry of Church on the Way.Commissioners to meet MondayDaviess County

    July 25, 2014

  • Daviess County Court News Criminal Cases FiledState of Indiana v. Jody W. Williams, check deception. State of Indiana v. Danielle Lynn Runyan, illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage.State of Indiana v. Tomi L. Thomson, illegal consumption of an alcoholic beverage.State

    July 25, 2014

  • REMC Area students travel to D.C. with REMC LOOGOOTEE — Three Indiana high school students, chosen by Daviess-Martin County REMC to participate, were among 72 from Indiana and 1,600 from 43 states who participated in the electric cooperative Youth Tour to Washington D.C., from June 12-19. Area

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prairie Village Nursing Home serves breakfast to Towers Debbie Miles with Prairie Village Nursing Home served biscuits and gravy to the residents of the Washington Towers on July 16. Those attending were Marilyn Barrett, Barry and Cathy Baumert, Marie Cain, Debbie Fields, Tom Fisher, Mike Grannan, Rita Gu

    July 24, 2014

  • Daviess County Court News Real Estate TransfersSecretary of Housing and Urban Development to Jeremy J. Tooley and Susan M. Tooley, pt. Lot 7 and pt. Lot 8 in Yarbrough Second.John P. Schofield III and Kristina Schofield to Bradley J. Saladin and Sarah E. Saladin, pt. SE ¼ S28

    July 24, 2014

  • 4Hgc23 4-H winners Look for more more 4-H winners from the recent Daviess County 4-H fair in this and upcoming editions of the Times Herald and online at www.washtimesherald.com.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos