Uncertainties were greatest when monitoring was temporarily or permanently discontinued at some transects: during these periods, the predictions of abundance were driven by the expected dynamics of the fitted population model. Their gestation period is 28-30 days and they have litters of between 4 and 6 kittens. The convergence of the MCMC algorithm was assessed using the scale reduction diagnostic of Brooks and Gelman (1998) and by visual inspection of parameter trace plots. They also provided clear experimental evidence that rabbits were gaining resistance to infection with RHDV; collaborative research with French and German scientists proved an underlying genetic mechanism. Hence, substantial variation in rabbit and fox abundances were observed within and between the 21 transects. Devising management strategies under this assumption could lead to less effective population control and suboptimal allocation of resources to alternative control activities. They can breed at any time of year, becoming sexually mature from 3-4 months. It quickly reduced Australia’s rabbits to a mere 5% of former numbers. Will dingoes really conserve wildlife and can our methods tell? Controlling prey populations to control invasive predators has long been advocated by applied ecologists (Courchamp et al., 1999; Norbury, 2017), but there have been few robust tests of this idea. Managers often advocate controlling invasive prey in the belief that this will also reduce invasive predator abundance. Hence, the impacts of disease are likely to be a key mechanism driving density dependence in rabbit populations. Numerical and functional response of feral cats. The effect of rainfall on fox populations was strongly lagged, with a lag period of 21 months best supported by the data. Amongst the various species of rabbit the most common one found is called European rabbit. Posterior predictive checks showed good agreement between the model and the data (Supporting Information Appendix S1). British Ecological Society, 42 Wharf Road, London, N1 7GS | T: +44 20 3994 8282 E: [email protected]
ologicalsociety.org | Charity Registration Number: 281213. Weakly informative Cauchy(0, 2.5) priors (Gelman, Jakulin, Pittau, & Su, 2008) were specified for the regression parameters relating the rates of increase of foxes and rabbits to the covariates (β). If controlling rabbits to low densities results in substantial reductions in fox abundance, then there may be a reduced need for targeted fox control. The European Rabbit is a species of rabbit native to southern Europe. The spread of RHDV revealed, however, that rabbits had been causing terrible damage to native ecosystems. Specifications; Feedback; A (Nose to corner of eye) 1 3/4" D (Nose to base of tail) 17 1/4" E (Circumference of belly) 12 1/2" Coming Soon. There was no evidence of a numerical response of fox populations to rabbit abundance, with the credible interval for this parameter (β5) easily including zero (Figure 2, Supporting Information Table S2). 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