Rabbit parasites – additional biocontrol agents

Summary

Rabbits have a number of parasites that are specific to them and that can impact rabbit survival through direct mortality, or by impacting on physical condition or potentially exacerbating the impacts of other rabbit diseases such as myxomatosis or rabbit haemorrhagic disease.

Eimeria intestinalis  and E. flavescens are the two most pathogenic rabbit coccidia, which are rabbit intestinal parasites.  This project aims to confirm the visual (microscope) identification of Eimeria intestinalis  and E. flavescens at Wellstead in south-west Western Australia in 1998, and their published absence at locations in south and eastern Australian in the 1960s.

This is Stage 1 of a project to assess the potential for Eimeria intestinalis  and E. flavescens to be translocated to locations where they are absent with the aim of providing additional control of wild rabbit populations and their severe impacts.

Status

In progress

Objectives

To confirm presence of Eimeria intestinalis  and E. flavescens, at Wellstead in south-west Western Australia and absence at sites in south and eastern Australia.

Project Leader



Dr David Peacock
Project Team
  • Dr David Peacock, PIRSA
  • John Kovaliski, PIRSA
  • Adam Croxford (genetic analysis),
  • Susan Campbell, DPIRD WA (WA samples),
  • Dr Tanja Strive, CSIRO (ACT samples),
  • Dr Tarnya Cox, NSW DPI (NSW samples),
  • plus other providers of interstate samples.
Project Partners

This project is funded through an external research grant separate to the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions current innovation portfolio

  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (funding agency)
  • State and territory government agencies
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