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Ecological challenges to controlling wild rabbits in Australia using virally-vectored immunocontraception

  • Author(s): Williams, C. K.
  • et al.
Abstract

The European wild rabbit in Australia threatens the sustainability of agriculture and conservation of native flora and fauna. Improved means of reducing these impacts are sought including effort to develop virally vectored immunocontraception (VVIC). VVIC for the wild rabbit involves complex interactions between the rabbit, myxoma virus and insect vectors of the virus. Development of the method includes not only reproductive molecular biology and genetics and manipulation of virus genetics, but also many problems in reproductive biology, ecology and population dynamics of the rabbit in diverse environments. Furthermore, epidemiology of enzootic myxomatosis, and behavior and population dynamics of several vector species of mosquito and flea must be considered. Some of these ecological problems are described with a brief description of the approach to experimental analysis.

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