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  • In this activity, students consider the effects of the release of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus as a biological control in Otago.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • understand some advantages and disadvantages of biological pest control
    • form opinions from written texts
    • change their opinions in light of new information
    • share their ideas and possibly influence others.
    Rights: Public domain

    Rabbit burrow

    Many rabbits live in underground burrows or rabbit holes. These can cause damage to the environment.

    Download the Word file for:

    • introduction/background
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • student handouts.

    Related content

    For background reading the articles Biosecurity and Research in biosecurity detail some of the risks the country faces and management practices that help reduce these risks.

    Read about the use of 1080 for pest content in this introductory article.

    As a comparison to the control of rabbits, find out about the biological control of possums in this article.

    Useful links

    See the information on the Ministry for Primary Industries' website on wild rabbit control in New Zealand.

    In 2018 a new rabbit haemorrhagic virus disease strain was released to high hopes. Read this Stuff news article about how the project was not as succcessful as had been hoped.

    In 2021, Newsroom ran a series of articles (with videos) about the problems of rabbit control, starting with Return of the rabbit plague.

    See RNZ's show from 2022 looking at the the story of rabbits and other pests introduced to New Zealand.

      Published 9 September 2008, Updated 3 May 2021 Referencing Hub articles
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