New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1981) 4: 73- 77
What Determines the Numbers of Small Herbivorous Mammals
- Ecology Division, DSIR, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
This paper considers the questions of what limited peak density, and what caused the long decline after peak density, in a confined population of wild rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus. An hypothesis is proposed in which both food shortage and predation are essential components. This may also be relevant to free-living populations of voles, lemmings, and perhaps other small herbivorous mammals.