I've been living on this farm for 15 years now, and there's only ever 3 rabbits on the place. Obviously not the same 3 for 15 years, but never more than 3 at any one time. Never seen any youngsters, or any attempts at breeding, except just once there was a nest stop in an earth bank, clearly been scratched out by fox or badger and occupants consumed, but that was years ago.
Any rabbits I've shot here (very few, obviously, and none for several years) have all been male, and never seen any signs of disease.
There's no burrows or signs of digging anywhere (except the one hole mentioned above), and disturbed rabbits always run over the boundary into adjacent woodland, which looks like much poorer rabbit habitat (e.g., no grazing).
Funny thing is, just a mile away the land is heaving with rabbits most years (although not so much right now, after myxi a couple of seasons ago, but they are bouncing back). Admittedly this land is separated from mine by a (not-too-busy) road, and has better habitat for rabbits (sandy / gravelly sloping fields and earth banks, not stone walls as here), but even so I would have expected them to extend their range as the population grew.
And why only males here? Do young males get pushed out of the main warren, to form batchelor groups elsewhere?
Any other suggestions as to why the population stays stuck at three individuals? I do enjoy my rabbit shooting, and it would be nice not to have to travel!
So much for the expression "breeding like rabbits"!