Previously domestic rabbits that were since released, and later reproduced in great numbers, have become so numerous that they may as well be considered a part of Iceland’s natural world, says one expert.
As many Grapevine readers may be aware, rabbits have become something of a pest in some parts of Iceland. Numerous complaints have been registered from residents in south Iceland because of the rabbits, to such where the Ministry for the Environment has agreed to allow people living in the area to reduce the rabbit population through their own means. Closer to the capital, it is not unknown for rabbits to bound onto the highway, causing accidents.
Ævar Petersen, an expert at The Icelandic Institute of Natural History, told Vísir that these rabbits – originally descended from a few domestic rabbits that were released into the wild – now number in the hundreds if not thousands.
They have been able to thrive in part because of the relatively warm winters Iceland has been experiencing, as well as the fact that some Icelanders like leaving out food for the rabbits. These contributing factors have, Ævar believes, led to the rabbits being more or less a part of Iceland’s natural world by now.