The origin of the European rabbit traces back to the Iberian Peninsula and parts of France. There are 80 different species of rabbit that exist in areas around the world today, all of which evolved from the European rabbit .
The Roman Empire spread the rabbit across Italy, and by 1066 was brought to England. Because rabbit meat is a viable food source, rabbits were taken on ships during periods of exploration and trade, ultimately introducing the animal to other parts of Europe, the United States and Australia. The rabbit is an adaptable animal and does not require much to survive, allowing it to thrive in the new environments, especially in areas like Australia where it has few natural predators.