Using Leslie matrices to determine wild rabbit population growth and the potential for control.

Published online
02 Mar 1995
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Smith, G. C. & Trout, R. C.

Publication language
UK & England


Data on fecundity and mortality obtained from wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) populations in England were used in Leslie Matrix population projections to examine rate of population growth and the effect of time of control on population growth. The population growth rate was shown to be slightly greater than unity in an average year. Control policies which remove more adults than juveniles are best performed at the end of December and policies which remove more juveniles than adults are best performed in mid-June. The limitations of the model used are discussed, as are limitations in the data. It was concluded that more information was required on natural mortality rates, especially for the first few weeks of life.

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