Rabbits killing birds revisited

Jimin Zhang, Meng Fan, Yang Kuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We formulate and study a three-species population model consisting of an endemic prey (bird), an alien prey (rabbit) and an alien predator (cat). Our model overcomes several model construction problems in existing models. Moreover, our model generates richer, more reasonable and realistic dynamics. We explore the possible control strategies to save or restore the bird by controlling or eliminating the rabbit or the cat when the bird is endangered. We confirm the existence of the hyperpredation phenomenon, which is a big potential threat to most endemic prey. Specifically, we show that, in an endemic prey-alien prey-alien predator system, eradication of introduced predators such as the cat alone is not always the best solution to protect endemic insular prey since predator control may fail to protect the indigenous prey when the control of the introduced prey is not carried out simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-123
Number of pages24
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Apparent competition
  • Bird conservation
  • Control strategies
  • Hyperpredation process
  • Mathematical models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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