Friday, March 9, 2018

Why So Many Rabbits In The Neighborhood?

The Laurelhurst Blog has received many reports of rabbit sightings recently, especially in the last few weeks, across the neighborhood. 

Neighbors comments received included:

We are very concerned with what seems to be a recent population growth of rabbits in the neighborhood. They are chewing our plantings down to the root, and some have died unfortunately.   
Our dogs have been sick lately, from what we were told, was eating rabbit waste on a neighbor's lawn.  
When we take our dogs out in the evening there are always about five rabbits running around on various streets. Has there been an increase lately in the population? 

Why are there so many rabbits lately?  They are everywhere it seems like and all over the neighborhood. They are eating my garden,  I appreciate the coyotes for predation but they have exploded far outside the Center for Urban Horticulture. It seems the rabbits are coming over from there then up from the lake and moving into the neighborhood.   
We generally walk our dogs late in the evening. The rabbits are out almost every night darting across the street into neighbor's yards.   
I have had a series of dead rabbits in my yard from being poisoned. How can we tell our neighbors to not use rat poison if they are not experiencing a rat problem? If another animal gets a hold of the dead rabbit, they will die as well. 
I don’t mind having wild rabbits in my yard. They are harmless.  
I don't believe that the coyotes should be exterminated at Yesler swamp or at Talaris. I have a lot of rabbits in my yard and they are one of the small animals that coyotes eat. I am a big proponent of letting nature balance the cycle of life and the ecosystem exactly as it is designed to do. 
Since the killing of coyotes in 2016 in the neighborhood, we have been inundated with rabbits and rats, never a problem before. Please bring back the coyotes.

The USDA said there has been an upswing in the rabbit population throughout western Washington.  This is a good reason to have the coyotes around.  

Larry Hubbell, who published his own local birding blog, Union Bay Watch, documenting wildlife at Union Bay told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff:
I would guess that they are reproducing well because there are lots of healthy plants in private yards and also perhaps maybe some get released, accidentally or on purpose.  
The creatures that I think might keep their population under control are the bald eagles, red-tailed hawks and coyotes, the biggest factor in the city.  The eagles prefer fish and the hawks like to work over open grass,  beside the freeways, or fields.

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