Rabbits more destructive to dunes than climate change

Rabbits have been identified as the culprit behind historical damage to the vast dune system that flanks South Australia’s Coorong. A long-term study of vegetation cover on Younghusband Peninsula’s transgressive dunes by Flinders University researchers shows that rabbits have been the most destructive factor affecting dune stability, ahead of wind, temperature fluctuation or rainfall ¬- and recent reduction of the rabbit population has greatly improved the stability of these dunes.

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A time series of vegetation changes on the Younghusband Peninsula prepared by Professor Patrick Hesp of Flinders University can be downloaded here. Note animation (powerpoint) is large (c50Mb)