Rabbit research in New Zealand was undertaken initially by the Animal Ecology Division of DSIR, and later by a dedicated Rabbit Research Group within the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (now the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry). From 1990-95 a Rabbit and Land Management Programme (R&LMP) was implemented in the worst rabbit prone areas of the South Island that involved land owners and managers and included extensive monitoring of rabbits and their impacts. After the end of the R&LMP in 1995 little research was carried out on rabbits in New Zealand until the illegal introduction of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) in 1997.

In 2009, because of increasing rabbit impacts with the waning effectiveness of RHD in some areas, Landcare Research was funded to research improvements in conventional control of rabbits in New Zealand. This database was developed as a resource not just to ensure all available information and knowledge was available for this research but also that it was accessible to rabbit managers, farmers, and the general public.

This work was contracted by the NZ Foundation for Research Science and Technology as part of Landcare Research’s Small Mammal Pest Control research programme.

The database is based on the extensive personal reference collections of Don Ross, and the late Jim Bell. We gratefully acknowledge their efforts in collating this material, and thank them for providing electronic catalogues of their collections, and hard copies of many of the papers and reports.

We welcome your feedback to help us improve this resource. Please contact us to let us know of any errors, omissions, or suggested improvements.