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Truth to the 10 Year Rabbit Cycle?

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posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 07:58 AM
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So, we have been having serious issues with rabbits this year. They are everywhere, in numbers we haven't seen in many years. My garden was being attacked in broad daylight. Driving down our road, you will see at least 10, hanging out on the edge of the road, in the morning and in the evening.

Standing in line at the farm store, buying chicken wire to put up around the garden, everyone asking if I am buying it for the rabbits! Everyone is talking about them this year. And it isn't like we don't have coyotes around. Even have a fox living in the field behind my house.

So, I hear this phrase, from a few different older people. "It's the 10 year cycle." What? I never heard of that. I just figured that the neighbors had shot most of the coyotes by us, due to the pheasant farm they have. Although I did see one two weeks ago, on my way to work.

Anyway, it turns out there really is a cycle:

Cottontail numbers, like most animal populations, run in cycles of highs and lows. The population builds up to a very high level, then disease, strife and poor reproduction down to a low level. This low may continue for two or three years before a slow increase begins to bring numbers back to another high. Peak populations usually occur at intervals of about 10 years. Within this 10 year cycle, there may be local areas having highs and lows opposite to the overall state cycle. Also, some areas may hold a continued high or low for several years and not seem to go through the cycle change.


Source DNR

I was wondering if any other states besides MI are having a rabbit problem? Or anyone else in MI noticing this?
They are just ridiculous this year!




posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 08:13 AM
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I have been seeing a lot of cottontails here in Eastern Pennsylvania.

I had four in my backyard this morning.



posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 


Thanks for checking in!
I was wondering if it is a 10 year cycle per state, or if it affects the whole country (were there are cottontails) every 10 years?

I'll have to see if I can find out.



posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 09:07 AM
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I've noticed a lot of bunnies in my neighborhood this year, in North Carolina. We also have a couple of foxes, several dogs and cats, even coyotes and hawks who are frequenting the area...but still, bunnies everywhere.

I'd never heard of the ten year cycle. Very interesting! S&F

PS. I blame it on Beezzer and Wrabbit.



posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 10:26 AM
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reply to post by chiefsmom
 
I'm in Texas, and it is indeed a "rabbit year". Usually you just see the occasional rabbit as they tend to stay out of sight in the woods and the bushes, but every so many seasons we see a surge in the rabbit population and start seeing them everywhere.

I've seen several out in the open in my yard (a very brave or stupid feat with my herd of yard cats and my dog) and they just look at you like you're the one who's stupid. There are many more than usual dead from being struck by cars on the road, and when I left to take one of my daughters to work Saturday I had to wait for a rabbit to move out of the way in my circle drive when I tried to leave.

The last time we had a "rabbit year' one of the neighbors started live trapping them and started breeding them. Come cooler weather (butchering season) he was able to fill his deep freeze. They serve their purpose, but watch out for your vegetable gardens!



posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 10:35 AM
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According to the Chinese Zodiac it is currently the year of the snake
It was the year of the rabbit in 2011.

We have some desert hares here. I see them commonly even though I live in a suburban area. No extra rabbits to report here, just the same little gray ones as always.

However, you appear to be correct!

“It is indeed a boom year for rabbits in the county,” Spillman said, “Rabbit populations here are cyclical and about every seven or eight years you see a large spike in the population followed by a relatively steep (and quick) decrease as the boom attracts predators like foxes and hawks which bring the population down… It’s likely the decline will start to become noticeable as early as this November,”
www.arlnow.com...

Not sure what county this article refers to, but it seems to support the notion of cyclical population booms for rabbits.


edit on 24-6-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2013 @ 11:47 AM
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Thanks for the replies!

This has got me wondering. If it's the rabbit boom for the next year or two, wouldn't it make sense that after this, we would see some type of predator boom? Since they will have a year or more of easy meals?

And interesting, that while looking for that, it seems MN had a boom year in 2003, which would coincide with ours and the 10 year cycle.
MN Article DNR



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