Other Mammals - Sounds Wild
Feral Rabbits


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Feral Rabbits

In a quiet neighborhood in East Anchorage, something is moving around under a swing set in a back yard. It's a rabbit. It's not a native showshoe hare, it's a European rabbit, the classic bunny rabbit kept as pets and raised for food. This is not a pet; however, it's a feral rabbit, born in the neighborhood last year to rabbit parents that were released to the wild. It's a problem, and many of the people in this neighborhood are unhappy with the bunny boom.

Feral rabbits are a problem in neighborhoods in Anchorage, Juneau, and on the Kenai. Feral rabbits can spread parasites to wild populations of snowshoe hares. They can attract predators like coyotes, wolves or bears into the neighborhoods. They are an unwanted distraction for dogs in the neighborhood, which break away and chase them. In Juneau, rabbits have demolished backyard gardens, and fencing the garden is now a necessity in some areas. Rabbits are a problem for the local animal shelter, as they are expensive to maintain and not particularly popular as pets.

European rabbits have also been released on several islands in Alaska, and have established populations on Kodiak Island, Middleton Island in Prince William Sound, and two islands in the Aleutians.

A female rabbit can breed every 30 days. Rabbits can have as many as 14 babies per litter, and can become pregnant again within a day of giving birth.