Tag Archives: Rabbit

Hybrid rabbits in Spain

Farmers in Spain are protesting against the “hybrid rabbit”, a cross between domestic and wild rabbit species, which they claim is devastating crops and displacing native rabbits and hares. Protesters accuse the government of deliberately releasing the animal to repopulate endangered species, which has caused harm to the native rabbit and hare populations. The hybrids are larger, more voracious, have more offspring per litter and double the number of litters per year. Farmers have demanded a temporary hunting emergency declaration, a study to clarify when and how the rabbit appeared, and a ban on releasing domestic rabbits into populations of native rabbits. But before we get to the invasive hybrid rabbits in Spain lets have a look at the endemic ones!

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The Iberian rabbit

the Iberian rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus) is considered a subspecies of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), which is found throughout much of Europe and parts of Africa. A member of the Leporidae family and is believed to have evolved in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Pleistocene era. Its abundance, size, and wide range make it a crucial prey item for over 40 species of birds and mammals in the Iberian Peninsula. Notably, the Iberian lynx and Iberian imperial eagle heavily rely on the rabbit for survival. The rabbit’s high abundance and excellent quality of flesh make it a common small game species in Spain and Portugal.

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