|by Albrecht Dürer|
|Binomial name||O. cuniculus|
Rabbits are small mammals. They are kept as pets, eaten as a food source, and appear wild in nature. In some countries rabbits are a pest species causing great environmental damage. In Australia they were introduced as prey for the fox (which was also introduced as sport for British colonial hunters). From an initial introduction of 24 specimens, rabbits have since become the most serious pest in Australia causing untold environmental damage.
To limit the population in Western Australia, a so-called "rabbit-proof fence" was erected between Cape Kerundun and Esperance. Myxomatosis was also introduced into Australia in the early 1950s for this purpose, then Rabbit Calicivirus Disease was introduced in the mid 1990s for the same reason.
- Rabbit Calicivirus Disease was actually being investigated for possible use when it escaped quarantine and rapidly spread through the rabbit population in southern Australia and Tasmania.