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Substantial numerical decline in South Australian rabbit populations following the detection of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2
  1. Greg Mutze1,
  2. Nicki De Preu2,
  3. Trish Mooney3,
  4. Dylan Koerner3,
  5. Darren McKenzie3,
  6. Ron Sinclair1,
  7. John Kovaliskli1 and
  8. David Peacock1
  1. 1Biosecurity SA, Department of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  2. 2Ardeotis Biological Consultants, Watervale, South Australia, Australia
  3. 3Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Port Augusta, South Australia, Australia
  1. E-mail for correspondence; greg.mutze{at}


Lagovirus europaeus GI.2, also commonly known as rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2, was first detected at two long-term monitoring sites for European rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus, in South Australia, in mid-2016. Numbers of rabbits in the following 12–18 months were reduced to approximately 20 per cent of average numbers in the preceding 10 years. The impact recorded at the two South Australian sites, if widespread in Australia and persistent for several years, is likely to be of enormous economic and environmental benefit.

  • abundance
  • Oryctolagus
  • biological control
  • rabbit haemorrhagic disease
  • European rabbit
  • epizootic

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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