Consequences of the myxomatosis epidemic in Britain's Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.) population on the numbers of Brown Hares (Lepus europaeus Pallas).
The myxomatosis epidemic in 1954 caused a catastrophic decline in Britain's rabbit population. In the following years there were reports of an upsurge in Brown Hare numbers (Moore, 1956; Rothschild & Marsh, 1956; Rothschild, 1958; Broeckhuizen, 1975). Since then rabbit numbers have been increasing (Trout, Tapper & Harradine, 1986) while hare numbers have been declining since the early sixties (Tapper & Parsons, 1984). In this paper we investigate whether the disappearance of rabbits caused an increase in hares, and whether the hare decline could be related to the recovery of the rabbit population.