The first palaeontological records of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) were in Spain and the south of France. From these areas, the géographie distribution of this species has increased because of: 1) environmental factors and 2) Man. From the Pleistocene to the Neolithic, fluctuations of the species are tightly linked to those of climate and vegetation. Rabbits reach the norih of France but do not cross the Loire. If this distribution is the same as on the continent from the Bronze Age to end of Antiquity, the animal was introduced in some Mediterranean islands (Balearic Islands and Zembra). From the beginning of the Middle Ages, Man is the principle agent of dispersai: introduction first in Northern Europe and then in other parts of the World. While the distribution of the animal had changea through time, perception of the animal had changea. Strictly wild at first, it then became "domestic-wild" by the fact that it was kept in warren. At the present time, it is both wild and domestic, with creation and multiplication of breeds.
Rabbit, France, Spain, Diachronic distribution.