Invasive Animal

European Rabbit

Oryctolagus cuniculus

About This Species

European rabbits are native to Europe and Northern Africa, and have been introduced to every continent except Antarctica. In British Columbia, European rabbits were brought by settlers and were kept as pets or farmed for their meat and fur. They are established on Southern Vancouver Island, Triangle Island, and in isolated patches around the Lower Mainland.

European rabbits are herbivores and compete with native species for food and habitat. European rabbits can live up to 10 years in captivity.

How to Identify

European rabbits in B.C. are descended from domestic rabbits, and so have the same variety in size and fur colour as rabbits sold in pet stores. They may be white, black, brown, or a combination of colours. They are the only rabbit species present in the Lower mainland area.


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Invasive species are plants, animals or other organisms that are not native to BC, and have serious impacts on our environment, economy and society. Never release your plants and animals into the wild or dump aquariums or water garden debris into rivers, streams, lakes or storm sewers!

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