Where’s Elmer Fudd when you need him? The bunny population is bounding in Iowa. A survey by the Department of Natural Resources finds rabbit populations took a big “jump” in the past year due to the mild winter — which is great news if you’re a rabbit but torture for backyard green-thumbers. Richard Bishop is the D-N-R Wildlife Bureau chief. A survey for the area between Cedar Rapids and Davenport done last August found a 92-percent increase in rabbit numbers over the previous year, while the statewide numbers were up 62-percent. Bishop says the species is very prolific in producing young because so many rabbits become food for other creatures above them on the food chain.Bishop says rabbit numbers have dropped significantly in the past 30 to 40 years, and so have the number of rabbit hunters. He says in 1963, there were some 170-thousand rabbit hunters in Iowa who shot about two-million rabbits. In 2001, the number of hunters had fallen to 36-thousand who harvested about 200-thousand rabbits.
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