I live in a rural subdivision with 3 to 12 acres lots in Virginia. Lots of treelines, hedgerows and scrub.
For the past 10 years, their have been cottontail rabbits everywhere. I would step out on my back deck in the dark, shine a flashlight out in my back yard, and see 4 or 5 just out their eating clover.
It got to be crazy. One year I was on a ladder painting the back of my house in the middle of the day, and I looked down to see two full grown rabbits playing around the foot of my ladder, and another lying out in the middle of the yard sunning itself.
This remained true even though we seem to have alot of small raptors, falcons, plus an occasional red tail hawk, plus the occasional fox or coyote.
But, suddenly last spring, they all seemed to disappear in a matter of just 4 or 5 weeks. It was really really quick and they were gone. I couldn't figure it out.
But then, I saw a large bird perched on my neighbors chimney, just looking out over everything. I got my binoculars out, and saw that it was a huge owl. I remember reading years ago that owls are one of the raptors that will kill as many as 4 or 5 small animals a day, every day, especially when it has chicks in a nest.
So, that one big owl is all that it took. 120 acres of rabbits are gone.
We still have a few rabbits around, but they seem to be really big ones, that stay buried in the honeysuckle and thicket. My dog flushes them, and they run straight into another thicket.