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Distribution and evolution of the wild rabbit

The rabbit is an endemic species of the Iberian Peninsula, and maybe of the French Mediterranean and its natural distribution till the Middle Ages was limited to these zones.

It was since then that the man introduced the rabbit all across Europe and from there to the rest of the world, originating the domestic breeds. Its domestication seems to come from the Romans and it is through the Roman legions when rabbit starts its expansion across southern Europe. If the Peninsula was divided by a diagonal that traversed from Galicia to the North-East of Andalucia, we would get the distribution of the two sub-species that exist:  o. c. algirus in the South-western quadrant, and o. c. cuniculus, of greater size, in the rest. 

Its distribution has been connected to humans since far-off times.  The sub-species o. c. algirus is present in the South-West of the Peninsula, North of Africa and some Atlantic islands near the peninsular coast. On the other hand, O. c. cuniculus has colonized a large portion of Europe, including the British islands, New Zealand, Australia, some regions of South-America, South-Africa, North-America, and many Mediterranean, Atlantic and oceanic  islands. All the known domestic breeds derive from this sub-species.