Pygmy rabbit

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Pygmy rabbit[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae
Genus: Brachylagus
Miller, 1900
B. idahoensis
Binomial name
Brachylagus idahoensis
(Merriam, 1891)
pygmy rabbit range
(blue – native, pink – reintroduced)

The pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) is a North American rabbit. It is found in the desert areas of the Great Basin and Montana.

The pygmy rabbit is the world's smallest leporid.[3][4][5][6] An average adult weights about 375 to about 500 grams (0.827 to about 1.102 lb). It has a body length of 23.5 to 29.5 centimeters (9.3 to 11.6 in). The female rabbit is slightly larger than the male.

The pygmy rabbit is different from other leporids by its small size, short ears, gray color and small hind legs. It also does not have any white fur on its tail.

Weasels are the main predators of pygmy rabbits. Coyotes, red foxes, badgers, bobcats, owls and hawks also hunt pygmy rabbits.[7][8]

Endangered species[change | change source]

One isolated population, the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, is listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Federal government. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the species as lower risk. This species only lives naturally in the Columbia Basin of Washington State.

The last male purebred Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit died March 30, 2006, at the Oregon Zoo in Portland. The last purebred female died in 2008. A program by the Oregon Zoo, Washington State University and Northwest Trek is trying to preserve the genes by breeding surviving females with the Idaho pygmy rabbit.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. Hoffman, R.S.; Smith, A.T. (2005). "Order Lagomorpha". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. Rachlow, J.; Becker, P.A. & Shipley, L. (2016). "Brachylagus idahoensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T2963A45176206. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T2963A45176206.en.
  3. Goodwin, George Gilbert; Drimmer, Frederick (1954). The Animal kingdom: the strange and wonderful ways of mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, and insects; a new and authentic natural history of the wildlife of the world, Volume 1. Cornell University. p. 246.
  4. Goodwin, George C. (1962). Small mammals. Cornell University.
  5. Sharth, Sharon (1999). Rabbits. p. 12. ISBN 156766587X.
  6. Meet the World's Smallest Rabbit written October 14, 2009; retrieved 25 August 2015
  7. Green, Jeffrey S.; Flinders, Jerran T. (1980). "Brachylagus idahoensis" (PDF). Mammalian Species (125): 1–4. doi:10.2307/3503856. JSTOR 3503856. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  8. Bradfield, Terry D. (1975). On the behavior and ecology of the pygmy rabbit. Pocatello, ID: Idaho State University. Thesis
  9. Wiley, John K. (13 May 2007) Captive breeding offers hope for near-extinct pygmy rabbits. Associated Press; retrieved 25 August 2015

Other websites[change | change source]