Pest Control: Perhaps the wrong timing to some, given the Easter weekend (and the gentle way some view the dear Bunny) is here….but, the rabbit infestation in New Zealand continues. Accounts of the problem go back over a century plus… Recently (2009) a major study was released about the management of the rabbits.
“Rabbits and hares have become a major pest in NZ and Australia. The European rabbit was introduced to NZ around 1838 as game for sportsmen to hunt. Rabbit numbers quickly rose to plague proportions in Otago, Canterbury and Wairarapa by 1890. Ferrets, stoats, weasels and cats were introduced in an attempt to control the rabbits with disastrous effect on native bird life.
Hares can be distinguished from rabbits by their longer legs which can be seen clearly when running.
Breeding is a year round activity in NZ. A female rabbit can produce 25-40 young per year and young become sexually mature at 3-4 months. Rabbits eat grasses, clover, buds and seeds of many annuals. Rabbits compete with stock for grazing and often eat out the most palatable grass.” (more info)
Always an interesting series of events…man intro’s non-native species and messes up the balance…man attempts to correct the situation and messes it up further. Sometimes man seems to have gotten it alright as say with trout in far flung places (some might disagree). Now man will nuke the hell out of the rabbits and look to be the bad guy (does PETA exist in New Zealand?).
I recall living across from a golf course. Each late Spring/early Summer there would be a sudden release of bunnies into the confines of the golf course by idiots that bought an Easter bunny for the kids and then decided they needed to release the critters. And, each Summer the population would grow. And, joggers running around the golf course would dodge bunnies on the jogging path and golfers would nail bunnies on the course and more importantly bunnies would get nailed on the street trying to leave the golf course to get into my yard and mow down every piece of green vegetation I called flowers in my yard.
I recall the news media knocking on my front door asking about my concerns re the rabbit infestation in the neighborhood. Soon thereafter there were no more rabbits to be found anywhere on the golf course or in my yard. No…I have no idea why I wrote this post……… Oh, now I remember.
While there seems to be a shortage of hackle, perhaps there is a ready supply of rabbit fur for new, innovative patterns or the old standbys that utilized hare and rabbit furs.