Summary Pigs released on Phillip Island (half-way between Sydney, Australia and Fiji) in 1793 were followed by goats and rabbits by 1830, quickly destroying the sub-tropical vegetation and the soil. By 1856, the island was described as mostly bare red ground with little remnant vegetation. The pigs and goats had gone by about 1900 but rabbits prevented most plant establishment. An experimental programme begun in 1979 to investigate the effect of the rabbits and the island’s potential for regeneration quickly provided spectacular evidence. An eradication programme followed, initially using a highly virulent strain of myxoma virus which was very effective but resupply failed. Poisoning with 1080 supplemented by shooting, trapping and gassing finally achieved effective eradication in March 1986, with the removal of the last single rabbit in 1988. Regeneration by native and weed species has been spectacular with consequent faunal changes. Some changes present policy challenges.