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Brush Rabbit Sylvilagus bachmani


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Brush Rabbit
credit: Walter Siegmund/CCSA

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Family: Leporidae, Hares and Rabbits view all from this family

Description Small rabbit with short legs and tail. Ears are slightly pointed and sparsely haired inside (not well haired like Pygmy Rabbit). Dark gray on back and sides; pale gray on belly and underside of tail. Whiskers are mostly black, some may have white tips.

Dimensions 303-369mm, 10-30mm, 511-917g

Endangered Status The Riparian Brush Rabbit, a subspecies of the Brush Rabbit, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in California. This rabbit once occupied wooded riverside habitat along the San Joaquin River and Stanislaus Rivers and numbered over 100,000. Water diversion practices altered the rabbit's habitat throughout its range, and today it is known to exist only in Caswell Memorial State Park, on the Stanislaus River, and probably numbers only two or three hundred. This small population is further threatened by floods and fire.

Habitat Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Grasslands & prairies

Range Plains, California, Northwest

Discussion Will forage in groups. Thumps ground with hind foot when frightened; may climb low branches to escape. Grasses form most of the diet, although they also browse on shrubs. Can be seen sunning in mid-morning, but is secretive and wary most of the time. Californian subspecies (S. b. riparius) is Endangered. Lives in dense brush, from sea level up to about 2000m.