How do I spot them?
Rabbits are found throughout most of Western Europe in habitats which provide suitable grass or other vegetation for grazing. Rabbits will also live under sheds, amongst rubble and in piles of dead tree roots and branches.
Rabbits leave many signs of their presence in an area. These include:
- Burrows: interconnecting to form a warren system of which some or all of the entrances may be hidden in scrub.
- Runs: pathways where the repeated passage of rabbits has suppressed the vegetation.
- Fur: either caught on fencing or thorns, or torn out during fighting.
- Droppings: spherical pellets 7-10mm in diameter composed largely of undigested plant remains.
- Feeding signs: grazing of vegetation and barking of shrubs and trees.
- A more reliable indication of the number of rabbits present in an area can be gained from counting them at night time.
How do they live?
The main breeding season is January to July. Females may produce 4-5 litters per year with an average of 5 young per litter. Early born litters do not survive well, particularly if conditions are cold and wet.
How do they affect me?
Rabbits rarely cause problems but can sometime damage garden foliage and fences.
How do I control them?
Wire netting and rabbit-proof fences are often the most effective and permanent solution to rabbit problems as the rabbits are either confined within or excluded from an area.
Individual tree guards, plastic or metal, provide protection as well as increasing growth for the tree.