How can 24 rabbits breed to 10 billion in Australia? Two wombs conceive in turn, one year does not stop

This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown

Not long ago, we told you about “Tumbleweed strayed into the United States and swept across Europe” and “wild boar became the most hated thing in the United States”. In fact, many species in nature are constantly spreading and migrating due to the impact of ecological environment and human changes. We call this kind of species “alien species” when they migrate or spread from one place to another and make them grow. In recent years, with the close contact and frequent activities in the world, species invasion is also on the rise. Even Australia, a country that loves small animals, has been plagued by the invasion of rabbits, and the “battle between man and rabbit” has become uncontrollable.

The root of all evils in the spread of Australian rabbits: all caused by the colonists

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In the world, “Australia” is a highly developed capitalist country and the only country with complete land coverage, covering an area of about 7.6 million square kilometers. Therefore, Australia is also called “Australia”. Australia has a vast territory and abundant resources of species, and Australians are famous for taking good care of small animals. However, such a country full of love hates rabbits so much that some people even hope that rabbits will disappear in Australia overnight. What has Mr. rabbit done to make Australians so resentful?

The rabbit invasion of Australians is not as short as three or five years, but as long as nearly two centuries. Although Australia has a vast territory, it is sparsely populated. In the early 18th century, the British colonists took the lead in immigrating to Australia. These colonists occupied most of the fertile land in Australia, so that the Aboriginal people who originally lived in Australia had to move to other places, and the land resources were gradually occupied by the colonists. At that time, there was a British colonist, who was a senior officer. In order to satisfy his hunting desire, the officer entrusted several levels of relations and asked people to bring 24 rabbits from the British mainland. Unexpectedly, before the officer had time to hunt, because of the sudden fire on the farm, rabbits sprang around. They became the source of all evils for the proliferation of rabbits in Australia, and also the most typical alien species invasion in Australia.

What kind of rabbit was brought into Australia by British colonists? Why did it breed so fast?

It is worth mentioning that the rabbit that the British colonist brought to Australia is not the rabbit we call. After being raised for a period of time, it was released into the wild. The rabbit that the British colonist brought to Australia is a pure rabbit in nature, which is completely different from the rabbit. The hare belongs to a kind of open rabbit which is different from the point rabbit. In other words, the hare is the general name of all kinds of rabbits except the rabbit. Rabbits like to move in the morning and evening, live in no fixed place, and adapt to social life. Generally, the gestation period of rabbits is about 40 days, and their breeding speed is very fast, which can be called “rocket” breeding. It is worth mentioning that the female hare has two uteruses, which can be pregnant in turn like a shift. This special reproductive structure makes the female hare a mammal with uninterrupted pregnancy. As long as the female hare wants to get pregnant, they will breed anytime, anywhere, and will not stop for a year. Each female hare can have at least 20 cubs a year.

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In group life, the hare is polygamous. Every male hare has his own “three wives and four concubines”. During the estrus period, the male hare’s sexual desire is much stronger than that of other mammals. For example, after the original wife has just been pregnant, the next “concubine room” will be pregnant, and there are many offspring of a male hare. According to incomplete statistics, there were 10 billion rabbits in Australia in the 19th century. Australia’s vast grasslands and shrubs have become breeding paradise for rabbits. They can not only survive here for a long time, but also eat fresh and rich “food”.

Rabbits become “uninvited guests” in farmland and “harmful animals” in forest

Tens of billions of rabbits have caused great harm to the Australian people. These rabbits not only damage crops, reduce agricultural production in Australia, and bring disaster to local farmers, but also constantly gnaw on lawns and even tear up cables. Australia’s animal husbandry is also deeply affected. Every year, tens of billions of rabbits eat grass, which is equivalent to billions of sheep and cattle. The economic loss of Australia is immeasurable. In addition, rabbits are also “harmful animals” in the forest. Due to their increasing number of reproduction, they have become irresistible invaders in the forest, occupying the territory of other animals and plundering the food of other animals. Among them, the kangaroo animals with docile character suffered a lot. It has to be said that the large-scale breeding of rabbits almost forced the kangaroo to a dead end.

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A resident of a small Australian town said: “these rabbits are too bad. They are good at drilling holes. Not only cattle and sheep will often get into holes, but we will also get into them. The soft tissues will be bruised lightly, and the muscles and bones will be damaged seriously for 100 days. Moreover, a large number of agricultural machines can not operate in these soft soil.”

“It’s a kingdom of rabbits. They breed recklessly, occupy our homes and destroy our agricultural land. It’s really abominable. The speed of their breeding makes us headache. The number of their breeding has exceeded that of human beings. It’s really terrible.”

For the Australian people, the hare has become the “devil” in their eyes. The vegetation has been eaten by the hare for a long time, and the land in Australia has become desertification and serious soil erosion. A lot of docile animals go extinct because of lack of food and homeless, so the Australian people hate rabbits.

It’s no use racking one’s brains and taking all kinds of hard measures: rabbits have become a flood

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Some netizens can’t help asking: “don’t Australian rabbits have natural enemies? Did the Australian people not take effective hard measures? ” In fact, the Australian people have been racking their brains to find solutions to the problem of rabbits flooding.

1、

Introduction of natural enemies of rabbits

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In order to catch all these rabbits, the Australian people even tried to introduce their natural enemies, such as wolves, wild dogs and so on. I thought that after these natural enemies were introduced to Australia, the number of rabbits would continue to decrease, but the result was totally different from what I thought. These so-called “natural enemies” have focused on the cattle and sheep. For them, the hare is very sensitive, and runs very fast, and is good at drilling holes, so it is extremely difficult to catch a hare, and the hare is not enough for these “natural enemies”. So soon they defected one after another to the cattle and sheep. For the Australian people, this is really “leading the wolf into the house” and throwing stones at their own feet.

2、

Control the reproduction speed of hare by means of virus transmission

In order to eliminate the hare quickly in a short time, the Australian people thought of using the “virus transmission” method to kill all the hare. This virus is called “myxoma virus”. It is no doubt that rabbits will die if they are infected. The Australian government thought of using mosquitoes to spread this virus. It is worth mentioning that myxoma virus is not harmful to human and other animals, only rabbits are intolerant. In just a few years, the number of Australian rabbits has finally been controlled, with a reduction rate of about 90%. However, the good time is not long. Although the virus has made most of the rabbits die, a small number of rabbits have survived, and the surviving rabbits began to produce antibodies to the virus. After the 1980s and 1990s, the breeding number of Australian rabbits began to recover, which made the Australian people feel very helpless.

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3、

Killing rabbits by chemical weapons bombing

Since the virus could not eliminate the hare, the Australian government thought of bombing again. At that time, it had to use the army and began to use the air force to inject a large amount of poison into the hare population through bombers to launch a chemical weapons war. I didn’t expect that this way is only temporary, it can’t completely destroy the hare, and it can’t stop the hare breeding, and other animals are also easy to be injured by mistake.

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Why don’t Australians use the “way to eat” to solve the rabbit problem? It’s more cumbersome to rely on export

Some netizens can’t help asking: “why don’t we solve it by eating? Braised hare is very good.” Australia is vast and sparsely populated, so it is impossible to completely reduce the number of rabbits by eating alone. Moreover, Australians have been used to eating beef and mutton for a long time. For them, the taste of hare is very “earthy”, and the meat is also very little, and there are many bones. Even if the earthy smell is removed in cooking, it is very hard to eat.

Has the Australian government formulated any export policies? First of all, it’s not easy to catch rabbits. They are good at drilling holes and running fast. It’s time-consuming and labor-consuming to catch rabbits by hand, which increases the cost. Secondly, the export procedures are very complicated, and many countries have issued a ban on wildlife trade. Therefore, for the Australian Government, the proliferation of rabbits is like a “hot potato”, which can’t be eaten or thrown away.

However, in China, one third of Sichuan rabbits are imported. Sichuan people love rabbit meat very much, and the domestic land is in short supply, so they have to rely on import. Sichuan people can make rabbit food into dozens of dishes. From their personal point of view, we can recruit some chefs from Sichuan in Australia. The rabbit tastes different, which makes Australian people open the “eat caution” and even make it into international food for tourists all over the world.

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The picture shows spicy rabbit head

However, at present, the number of rabbits in Australia needs to be quickly controlled. After all, our ecological environment is limited. Once the rabbits completely break our ecological environment, the balance of the food chain will be completely cut off, and the consequences for us will be unimaginable. Therefore, all countries in the world should unite to help Australia solve this long-standing problem. After all, the earth is our only home. We all have the responsibility to protect the ecological environment!

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