Bad News: Cute And Fuzzy Bunnies Could Be Next Victims Of Climate Doom

I’m serious, we can’t let them walk away with everything. If we give in, we’re giving in to all the cute, fuzzy bunnies in the world.

Rabbits Could Be The Next Climate Change Casualty

Climate change is already having detrimental effects on ecology and wildlife around the world, and these problems are likely to get worse in the years ahead. But there remains much that is unknown. While many species, like the arctic polar bear, will predictably be worse off as their natural habitat and food sources are depleted, other species will undoubtedly benefit, and for still others, fortunes could go either way. One case in point is rabbits.

There are known to be more than 30 different species of rabbit, including 305 different breeds, spread across the world. Rabbits are one of the most recently domesticated animals, with some scholars tracing their domestication back to French monasteries in the 600s. Around that time, Pope Gregory the Great ruled that rabbit meat could be consumed during lent, leading to increased production in monasteries. (snip)

At higher temperatures, rabbit production becomes more challenging, which means higher costs for farmers in the form of fans, air conditioning units or other cooling strategies. Reduced fertility among rabbits is one consequence of hotter temperatures (something apparently also true in humans). Litters tend to have fewer bunnies, birth weights are lower, and there are higher rates of mortality among the young.

This is mostly aimed at domestic production of rabbits, rather than wild ones, but, one has wonder, how did they survive during the previous Holocene warm periods, which were warmer than the current one?

This is yet another area where the impacts of climate change, both for humans and wildlife, are likely to be diverse and multifaceted. Rabbit populations in some areas, like the Canary Islands, could well increase even while those cute white snow bunnies become harder and harder to find. On balance, the effects look harmful. Some estimates suggests more than two-thirds of rabbit species could be threatened by climate change.

“Could be.” Yet, survived fine, and flourished during the Medieval Warm Period. Just another attempt at scaring people.

(Cute and fuzzy bunnies from One Crazy Summer.)

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One Response to “Bad News: Cute And Fuzzy Bunnies Could Be Next Victims Of Climate Doom”

  1. Dana says:

    Domesticated rabbits wind up being sold as pets, and having to live in cages for their entire lives. I am not sorry to think that it might get more expensive to give cute little bunnies as toys.

    I have cats and dogs, and they are allowed to come in or go out; they can roam as freely as they wish. I am not a fan of caging creatures.

    Our chickens are kept in a coop, but only because the dogs would kill them. Our previous chickens were free ranging.

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