The Economic Benefits of the Biological Control of Rabbits in Australia, 1950-2011

Brian Cooke, Peter Chudleigh, Sarah Simpson, Glen Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Wild European rabbits are serious agricultural and environmental pests in Australia; myxoma virus and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus have been used as biocontrol agents to reduce impacts. We review the literature on changes in rabbit numbers together with associated reports on the economic benefits from controlling rabbits on agricultural production. By using loss–expenditure frontier models in with and without biocontrol scenarios, it is conservatively estimated that biological control of rabbits produced a benefit of A$70 billion (2011 A$ terms) for agricultural industries over the last 60 years. The consequences for ongoing rabbit control and research investment are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Economic History Review
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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