Hairy Japanese Bastards

The title of this piece of course comes as direct quote of philosophical mastermind Father Jack Hackett. So yes this piece is about Rabbits (not rampant ones, not the ones the require batteries anyway.)

The Scottish isle of Canna. Home to all of 12 humans. (According to BBC Radio 4, Wikipedia says 6. Maybe they all stood in one line and managed to rotate so they were counted twice) 12 people living on a small heritage site measuring one mile wide and four miles across. Home to a rich tapestry of wildlife with many different types of bird and a few thousand rabbits.

Isle of Canna Panorama 2

You see these rabbits have been doing what rabbits do best. Making the beast with two backs, hiding the salami, Flora Wrestling, bow-chica-wow-wow. Yes without the aid of viagra these long eared, powder puff tailed critters have been having it away more often than Jimmy Saville on a charity run. Why has this suddenly become a problem?

Well rabbits like to chew things. They like to crap as well. Unfortunately chewing and crapping does nothing for archaeological digs and artefacts. (That why they didn’t invite Tony Robinson back for another series of Time Team. Maybe..) There have also been landslides that Stevie Nicks wrote about. Ms Nicks was unaware rabbits had anything to do with it.

So what to do?

Well they are going to kill the rabbits. Now usually I’m far for an eco warrior type. I like cars with big engines, I think a punch in the face is a reasonable way to greet anyone who drives a Prius and I love to eat almost all meat. I have had a rabbit as a pet though so I don’t think I could eat one. However this is not the reason I am writing this piece.

The rabbit population has grown on the island for a number of reasons, the biggest reason is the rabbits are no longer under threat of being eaten by rats that used to live on Canna. Did the rats find a nice room on Secret Escapes? Do they share my obsession with Camilla Arfwedson that they too could be sold anything by her? Are they sat watching Holby City?

No. (Surprising huh)

No the rats got killed in 2006. They were eating small mice and bird eggs (How dare they?)

So I’ll skip to my point. You learn about the food chain at school and it’s role in ecosystems. Every action has a reaction. I understand the need to manage breeding and populations of wildlife, particularly on such a small island like Canna. However a primary school child could tell you if you remove all of one type of animal it’s not going to work out well. So why they are looking to repeat the same mistake again is a mystery to me.

Maybe the 12 humans should move out. Let nature sort itself out as it has done for thousands of years.


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