Canmores once thriving population of non-native feral bunnies has collapsed.
The town of Canmore has grappled with an outbreak of rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD), raising concerns among the local population about the fate of the adorable feral bunnies inhabiting the area. The consequential illness seems to have caused the death of virtually every bunny in the region. However, unverified claims have surfaced on social media, highlighting possible sightings of surviving rabbits.
It is thought that RHD might have severe ecological implications if it propagates to neighboring snowshoe hare populations or migratory creatures like the pika.
While the root of the outbreak remains unknown, Alberta has been monitoring RHD since 2020, and experts have raised alarm over the virus’s potential to spread exponentially across wild populations.
The disappearance of the bunnies was swift and left seemingly no carcasses which added to the mystery of their demise.
The municipality of Canmore has invested a considerable amount of financial resources, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, over the past few years in an effort to control the burgeoning feral bunny population. However, despite these efforts, a devastating outbreak of a highly infectious virus has ultimately eradicated the adorable creatures in their entirety.
Have you seen a bunny in Canmore recently? Share your story of any sightings on the Bow Valley Network Facebook group.