New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1981) 4: 73- 77

What Determines the Numbers of Small Herbivorous Mammals

Research Article
John A. Gibb  
  1. 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.