Save the wabbits
Its stories like this that make you love Florida.
Knowing how rabbits multiply, in a few years they'll have to release cats in order to cut down the rabbit population again. Either that or hire Elmer Fudd. Life in Florida, it is seldom boring.
BIG PINE KEY -- Save a marsh rabbit: Trap a feral cat.
Biologists say that get-rid-of-the-predator strategy, used at the Naval Air Station at Boca Chica, has worked to increase the population of the Lower Keys' bunny subspecies that was named for Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner and placed on the federal endangered species list in 1990.
Experts believe the strategy also should work on Big Pine Key, where the marsh rabbit population has dwindled by about 50 percent in the past two years and is in danger of being wiped out.
''There are two distinct genetic subpopulations of the rabbits in the Lower Keys,'' biologist Paige Schmidt said. ``Once one of them is lost, it's lost forever. That's why we're starting the trapping program now. It's vital.''
On Monday, a federal trapper will begin setting 30 to 40 traps to lure cats roaming near the marsh rabbit habitat at the National Key Deer Refuge.
''We don't want to kill cats. We want to preserve rabbits,'' said Bernice Constantin, state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture unit that is implementing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife trapping program.
Hat tip- Klotz as in Blood. Steve has some funny commentary well worth reading.
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