Grazing rabbits just before sunset on Isle of Wight near Sandown
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At first glance I was struck by the size of these rabbits which is bigger than I am used to seeing at the moment on rough marginal ground. I have heard people talk about "bush rabbits" to cover those with a harder living and hence not thriving just as well, but am now wondering if there are other factors as well.
Often island populations of mammal prey species grow larger. Usually the main reason is the lack of predators controling the population. However, the Isle of White has all the usual rabbit predators. There was a case in Shropshire 25-30 years ago of someone releasing captive bred rabbits into the wild. These were much larger than the native stock but again I doubt it is the case here as I'd expect a large veriety in colours.
I think it is just a case of good food supply in this case.
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