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Oryctolagus cuniculus

Basic information
Scientific name Oryctolagus cuniculus

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Common names Domestic rabbit
Higher taxon Leporidae, Lagomorpha, Mammalia
Natural range Eastern Spain
Habitat Mediterranean climate with a rainfall of less than 1000mm per/year, short herbage and well drained, loosely compacted soils easy to dig, and secure refuge areas in scrub adjacent to feeding ground.
Invasion information
Range in Japan Many peripheral islands. Toshima-oshima, Toshima-kojima (Hokkaido), Nanatsujima (Ishikawa), Ukishima (Chiba), Jinaijima (Izu Islands), Matsushima (Ieshima Islands, Hyogo), Okinoshima (Oki Islands, Shimane), Motokojima (Okayama), Okunoshima (Hiroshima), Wasajima (Kagawa), Ushibuka-Oshima (Kumamoto), Ujiie Islands (Kagoshima), and Yanahajima (Okinawa) Islands. Range in Japan
Date The first import to Japan was in 16 C. According to old literature, feral rabbits were established in early 19 C. The present feral populations on small islands were released in 1950s to 1990s.
Route Deliberate: Released for fur material or food. Unknown purpose for some islands.
Impact Actually: Destruction of vegetation and soil by overgrazing. Inhibition of reproduction of Calonectris leucomelas.
Potentially: Carrying virus for VHD. Agricultural damages in other countires.
Native organism(s) affected: Mammals, birds, grasses, vegetation, crops.
Regulation in Japan No action for prevention, mitigation, control, or eradication.
Introduced range in other countries
Reference Notes
  • Abe (ed) (1994) A Guide to Mammals of Japan. Tokai Univ. Press, Hatano (in Jpn)
  • Ecol Soc Jpn (ed) (2002) Handbook of Alien Species in Japan. Chijinshokan, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Izawa et al. (eds) (1996) The Encyclopedia of Animals in Japan 2 Mammals II. Heibonsha, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Long (2003) Introduced Mammals of the World: Their History, Distribution, and Influence. CABI Publishing.
  • Ohdachi et al. (eds) (2009) The Wild Mammals of Japan. Shokado, Kyoto.
  • etc.
100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species, 100 of the Japan's Worst Invasive Alien Species
Rabbits eradication in Nanatsujima Island (Ishikawa pref.) was announced in 2019.