While rabbits are being slaughtered in some parts of the world, it’s good to know there are some places where people are working to help them flourish.
In today’s news is a report about poisoned carrots being air-dropped to kill rabbits in Otago, New Zealand. In Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia, a gunman has been hired to kill rabbits that have been digging up a soccer field.
Meanwhile, in New England, wildlife agencies in six states are working with Federal agencies and NGOs to save the formerly prolific cottontail rabbit, which is now listed as endangered in two states after more than 80% of its habitat has been lost in the past 50 years.
George Smith, writing for downeast.com filed this report:
State wildlife agencies from Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, along with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, plus the Wildlife Management Institute and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are parties in a regional conservation strategy to save the cottontail.
Millions of dollars from The Natural Resources Conservation Service and The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are committed to the strategy’s 82 actions including goals for the number of acres of rabbit habitat to be managed in each state.
Creating and enhancing habitat where cottontails already exist appears to be critical. Last year Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife moved 15 cottontail rabbits from the Portland jetport – where they were in the way of an airport expansion – to a Kennebunkport island. All of the rabbits died after being moved.
You can read the full article online at http://www.downeast.com/georges-outdoor-news/2012/july/engangered-cottontail
This dichotomy about the treatment of rabbits around the world brings to mind the words spoken by the Okinawan narrator of John Patrick’s play, The Teahouse of the August Moon:
In Okinawa, wash self in public bath with nude lady, quite proper. But picture of nude lady in private home quite improper. In America, statue of nude lady in park win prize, but nude lady in flesh in park win penalty. Conclusion: Pornography, question of geography.
Below are links to the New Zealand and Australian news reports.
Juvenile New England cottontail photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.