Rabbits are native to France, the Iberian peninsula and western North Africa, favouring the ecotone between scrub (maquis) and grassland. Rabbits were introduced to Britain in the 1100s and were important as farmed animals by the 1200s, both for meat and fur. They multiplied to become a serious agricultural pest, but numbers decreased markedly after the introduction of the South American virus disease myxomatosis.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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