Here are some fun facts about this important and adorable animal:
- The Pygmy Rabbit is the smallest species of rabbit in North America. They have short ears, small hind legs, and dusky gray bodies. They depend entirely on sagebrush for food and for cover from predators. In many places where they are found their little pellets, which are peppercorn in size, will carpet the ground under the sagebrush.
- Pygmy rabbits are the only rabbits in Nevada that dig their own burrows, though they sometimes use dens made by other animals.
- Pygmy rabbits live for three to five years and weigh about a pound.
- Pygmy rabbits can be recognized by their small size and brown tail. Their closest relative in Nevada is the cottontail rabbit which can be distinguished from the pygmy rabbit by its white (cotton) tail.
- They are common in Nevada anywhere the sagebrush and soil meet their needs. Nevada has been working with the State of Washington to help reestablish and preserve the endangered populations of pygmy rabbits in Washington. Nevada has provided rabbits for translocation to Washington to increase the genetic diversity and the overall population numbers to increase the distribution of pygmy rabbits in the Columbia Basin of Washington.
- Pygmy rabbits are one of the species known to populate properties in north-central Nevada on the JD Ranch, protected with conservation easements held by Nevada Land Trust.
Photos and information courtesy of Rory Lamp