Saturday, 18 March 2017

Easter Bunny Adventure

Rabbit juvenile - Richard Bowler

Spend your Easter with a truly wild Easter bunny!

Skomer Island is renowned for its breath-taking #wildlife and stunning scenery. People come from all over the world to witness the waddling walk of a Puffin and hear the mysterious calls of the Manx Shearwaters. With dolphin sightings from the cliffs, perching razorbills and the slender guillemot, the island really is a true wildlife haven to behold.

But what some visitors may often be surprised about when visiting #Skomer is the abundance of rabbits on the island, and the diversity of colours within them. From an ordinary sandy brown right through to white collared rabbits and even black rabbits, the variety is intriguing.

Rabbits were introduced to Skomer around 700 years ago by the Normans and the island was used as a rabbit farm, or coney island.  Skomer rabbits only produce one litter, usually in April, consisting of about three kittens (baby rabbits).

Rabbits have numerous positive effects for nature conservation on Skomer and they have a three main beneficial effects in maintaining Skomer’s wildlife diversity:

Puffin & Rabbit - Charles Thody
1. Although Manx Shearwaters and Puffins can dig their own burrows, they will also use old rabbit burrows as well.

2. By keeping the vegetation low when eating rabbits allow plants to have access to light which increases the botanical diversity of the island.

3. In good rabbit years it is thought that less seabirds are predated upon by the islands top predators.

April is also a special time on the island for seabirds, especially Puffins as they will return to land where their courtship takes place. The bonus of staying overnight is that at this time of year, Puffins will often spend their days out at sea and then return to Skomer in the evenings, sometimes putting on a spectacular wheeling display in North Haven.

So why not spend Easter on an island surrounded by rabbits and Skomer’s truly amazing wildlife! April is a great time to visit the island and watch as the Puffins settle into their summer houses. 

To book a stay on Skomer this spring call 01656 724100.

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