Regina's rabbit population control program suspended
City says they took some rabbits to a "remote location" and destroyed them
The rabbit population control program in Regina has been suspended.
Regina had rabbit traps out in areas where the rabbit population was deemed problematic. In some cases, they took rabbits to "a remote location" and destroyed them, the city said.
On Thursday morning, a city spokesperson confirmed that the traps placed in Harbour Landing had been removed.
The statement reads: "This is to advise that the two-week pilot project has been suspended because traps are being tampered with."
The city would not confirm if the suspension is temporary or permanent.
Culls not the way to go: wildlife biologist
A Saskatoon wildlife biologist says Regina's strategy to reduce its rabbit population could backfire.
"As soon as you stop removing them, what happens [is] you've now produced a condition that's very good for the animal and they have higher birth rates and higher survival rates," John Polson, a wildlife biologist in Saskatoon, said.
Polson uses a catch-and-release method in Saskatoon and said culls usually don't work.
"The population sometimes actually increases and is higher than when you started."
The city began its rabbit control program, catching 27 animals. It released 10 and destroyed the other 17.
Russell Eirich, the City of Regina's manager of forestry, pest control and horticulture, said Tuesday that they haven't caught any this year but that it would be difficult to simply catch and release the rabbits in neighbouring rural municipalities.
"I don't think it's responsible … to offload our problem onto them," he said.
Regina said it protects the trees by wrapping them. Polson said that is a good strategy.
"It just makes so much more sense to protect the tree because there's other animals too that will nip at the trees," he said.
Polson also said that an increase in rabbit population wouldn't draw more predators to the city.
With files from CBC Radio's The Morning Edition and Bryan Eneas