Factors affecting the abundance of wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in agro-ecosystems of the Mount Etna Park
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Dipartimento di Biologia Animale
Publication date: 2001-09-10
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2001;12(1)
Abstract A study on the abundance of Wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus and environmental factors which may affect its occurrence in agro-ecosystems of Mount Etna was carried out in 1998. Density data, collected monthly by pellet counts in 7 sample areas, show a mean value of 9.16 individuals per hectare; in two samples high density values were recorded and the difference compared to other areas was significant. Two peaks of abundance were recorded during the year. No significant correlation was found between rabbit density and the factors considered but altitude and percentage of abandoned cultivation seem to have a certain influence on the occurrence of the species. The main natural predators, Vulpes vulpes and Buteo buteo, do not have any negative effect on rabbit abundance.
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