Sunday, August 1, 2010

San Juan Island Bunny Battle

San Juan Island which is part of the San Juan Island archipelago in northern Washington State, and a popular recreational area known for kayaking and sailing has a bunny battle brewing among the National Parks Service and locals. The National Parks Service believes the rabbits are damaging delicate habitat and there are many locals who believe the rabbits are now natives. They are European Rabbits brought to San Juan Island about 100 years ago and released by farmers as a food source. The Park officials have drafted a plan that is causing a fair amount of protest. The plans call for the NPS to hire a contractor to hunt the rabbits with small caliber weapons and leg hold traps (no teeth). Newspapers and TV news in Seattle have reported on the heated debates about the plan in meetings held to discuss the rabbits’ future.
There has been a reasonable and humane alternative suggested for the American Camp rabbits. According to a Seattle PI article, Sandi Ackerman of Rabbit Meadows Feral Rabbit Sanctuary in Seattle said the American Camp rabbits could be trapped, neutered and released back into the wild; or trapped, neutered and relocated to the sanctuary. Plus, sensitive areas could be protected with rabbit fences. Sounds like a plan to me.