The Natural Monuments (Natuurmonumenten) organisation wants to help out the rabbits on the Frisian island of Schiermonnikoog who are producing too few offspring.
According to Omrop Fryslân, Natural Monuments wants capture the rabbits, bring them together in the hopes that they will breed, and then release them back into the wild. But that may be easier said than done: the rabbits cannot be released just anywhere on the island because they are vulnerable to cats and birds of prey.
The rabbit population on the Wadden Island has been limited for years, and importing rabbits from the mainland is so complicated that it is not a realistic option. The animals play an important role in the ecosystem by keeping certain part of the landscape clear, and birds on the island often use the rabbit warrens to lay their eggs.
Once the rabbits have been caught, they can be vaccinated and examined for genetic research. Students have been carrying out an inventory of the number of rabbits on the island over the past couple of weeks.
Photo source: Wikipedia