European Rabbit

Oryctolagus cuniculus

European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) or coney is a species of rabbit native to the Iberian Peninsula (including Spain, Portugal, and southwestern France). It has been widely introduced elsewhere, often with devastating effects on local biodiversity. However, its decline in its native range (caused by the diseases myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus, as well as overhunting and habitat loss), has caused the decline of its highly dependent predators, the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) and the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti). It is known as an invasive species because it has been introduced to countries on all continents with the exception of Antarctica, and has caused many problems within the environment and ecosystems; in particular, European rabbits in Australia have had a devastating impact, due in part to the lack of natural predators there.