Thursday, November 16, 2006

Muddy Bunnies is reporting that feral rabbits are responsible for a large landslide on Macquarie Island, killing several royal penguins (Eudyptes schlegeli) and destroying a part of their roosting and nesting habitat. The introduced rabbits, which now number over 100,000, are devouring plant life and stripping the soil bare, leaving no buffer when heavy rains come, and causing massive soil erosion. This is just one of several landslides that have occurred on the island this year. Macquarie Island, a Tasmanian State Reserve located halfway between Antarctica and Australia, is the only place in the entire world where royal penguins breed. More information and good photos over at BBC News.

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