Oryctolagus cuniculus, Lepus europaeus

Rabbit and hare

Family: Leporidae

Origin: Eurasia

A brown rabbit sitting in the middle of a grassy section, surrounded by leaves.
Grey-brown, furry, small mammal the size of a small cat. Long ears, white belly and short white fluffy tail.
Photo credit: Landcare Research

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area pest — Site-led
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Small terrestrial herbivorous mammals. Rabbits are often grey-brown and are the size of a small cat. Hares are larger and have black tipped ears.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not abandon any rabbit or hare within the Auckland region.
  • You must not move any pest rabbit or hare to or within the Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area.
  • In the future, all commercial transport operators moving goods or people to or among Hauraki Gulf islands will need to have a Pest Free Warrant.
  • Anyone intending to move a building to or among Hauraki Gulf islands must notify Auckland Council at least 10 working days prior to movement so that an inspection can be arranged.


Open habitats, pasture, orchards, crops, gardens, dunes, scrubland.

Impact on environment

Heavily browses native seedlings and low-growing plants, alters vegetation composition and suppresses threatened species. Supports increased populations of introduced predators. Can cause major damage to pasture.



Please refer to the Pest animal control guidelines for information on how to control rabbits and hares, or contact Auckland Council at pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

An image from a surveillance camera of a rabbit in a forest.
Rabbit’s ring-bark the base of saplings and small trees.
Photo credit: Hunua monitor