Are rabbits native to Hawaii?

Are rabbits native to Hawaii?

Rabbits are not native to hawaii since hawaii isn’t a natural habitat for a rabbit and allowing a rabbit roam ‘free’ doesn’t necessarily bring a cheerful or healthy rabbit.

There are a couple of small feral populations on the island, maybe four. Though, Maui population appears to have died off and there maybe no evidence of a feral population in Oahu.

There are a minimum of three or four established feral rabbit populations in Kona and Waimea.

Feral populations in the 90s were found in makawao and haiku, and should still be possibly present. But in Waikele, the possiblity of a rabbit running around is slim.

Even though, there are a minimum of three but probably four established feral rabbit populations in Kona and Waimea. Escaped rabbits can be a nuisance for as long as people are bringing rabbits into Hawaii, whether it is for pets or for game.

They may be small in size but rabbits could still do considerable damage to Hawaii ecosystems because they enjoy eating small seeds of native plants developed without resistance to grazers.

Rabbits compete for forage, can damage pastures and gardens and also eat grass right down to the ground than sheep or cattle.

Rabbits sightings have been increased during the past few months and the massive Island Invasive Species Committee stepped up efforts to let people understand the risks of the animals creating an exploding population.

Are rabbits allowed in Hawaii?

Although, rabbits aren’t illegal to stay in Hawaii, state law still ensures pet rabbits are kept in hutches or cages. This is because they are really good at escaping. Badly behaved pet rabbits end up anyways at the Hawaii Humane Society, where they are spayed and neutered.

Some rabbit owners think it inhumane to confine a rabbit or an excessive amount of trouble to supply daily care, and because of this, the rabbits let loose and may easily escape and cause nuisance

Laws require rabbit owners in Hawaii to remain their pets caged and off rock bottom. This keeps pets from escaping to start out wild populations and keeps them away from ticks that might spread a potentially deadly bacterial disease: tularemia.

Hawaii is famous for their abudance in vegetation, rainfall, and landscapers. What they do not have are populations of rabbits running wild and resources to take care of them.

According to state law, people can keep pet rabbits but they need to be contained in a cage. If kept outside, they shouldn’t be allowed to roam freely. The penalties for disobeying is solely based on the seriousness of the threat. The penalty could be the loss of your pet, fines, or even jail time.

The natural predators of rabbits in Hawaii are cats, rats and mongoose. But they are unlikely to prey on them since the populations of untamed rabbits keeps increasing with numbers and surpassing their predators that should be feeding on them, and this is also because rabbits evolved with a multitude of predators: weasels, coyote, bobcats, owls, hawks, snakes, foxes, and raccoons.

For rabbits to survive high mortality rates, they breed well. The female (doe) can become pregnant with her first litter as she is just 3 months, and again just a month later, with another litter, within days of parturition .

One litter of rabbits can produce 100 kits (baby rabbits) per season, and up to 1,000 for as long as she lives.

Rabbit Island

It was not named after its shape, although many regard the island to look like a rabbit’s head, but was rather called rabbit island because it had been a rabbit-raising farm in the year 1994.

The rabbits were evacuated because they started damaging the ecosystem of the island, which originally is a seabird breeding area.

But people referred to it as that, because the island was once occupied by rabbits. The island’s original name is Manana which suggests buoyancy in Hawaiian. So in 1994, the rabbits were completely eliminated from the island for it to become a seabird wildlife sanctuary.

Sometimes, it is also asked if there are rabbits on Rabbit Island, but of course not, there are not any rabbits present there.

Hawaii Island group aims to subdue the rabbit population

A Hawaii group has launched an effort to reduce the quantity of feral rabbits, which the natives say are destroying gardens and burrowing under homes. Rabbits “turn their yards into dust yards” and tunnel under houses.

Escaped rabbits are a problem if people keep bringing rabbits into Hawaii, whether as pets or for meat.

The organization may not know exactly where the rabbits came from but suggests they are probably escaped pets or escaped from breeding hutches.

The committee has documented 24 rambling rabbits but suggests there should be as many as 75.

Related Information

How to import rabbits into hawaii asides anaplasosis testing

They will require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), also mentioned as a health certificate. The State, Federal will issue the CVI, while your accredited veterinarian will sign it before 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii.

The CVI list should provides an overview of the rabbit within the containment. Itmust state that the rabbit wasn’t showing signs of infectious, contagious or communicable diseases and was found free from parasites.

Rabbits are required to enter Hawaii only through the Honolulu International Airport where they are to be submitted by an attendant of the airline carrier to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility for examination.

Inspection starts 7:45 a.m, and ends 4:30 p.m. Once the inspection is complete and all entry requirements are met, the rabbits would be released to you together with a pass.


The sudden interest in young seedlings combined with a rabbit’s need to burrow makes these adorable animals a threat to agriculture and disturbance for home gardeners in Hawaii.

For this reason, hawaii has strict laws regarding rabbit containment because they can be a menace to farmers and gardeners and also their ecosystem.

But they can be kept as pets though, but they will be easy prey to feral cats and dogs and probably ferrets.