Brush rabbit is a cottontail rabbit and is also known as a western brush rabbit because its habitat is located inside North America’s western coastal areas. In the dialect of science, it is entitled “Sylvilagus bachmani”. The question that spring to mind is that if this rabbit is a cottontail rabbit, why not Its name have cottontail in it as most of the cottontail rabbits have? , and that may be because of its tail, which does not resemble other cottontails. We will further talk about it in detail a bit later!
|Scientific Name||Sylvilagus bachmani|
|Lifespan||6 years in wild|
|Gestation period||27 days|
10 Brush rabbit facts
- Its babies are called kits, female rabbits are called doe’s, and male rabbits are called bucks.
- There are subspecies of this rabbit by the name riparian rabbit, and its scientific name is Sylvilagus bachmani riparian.
- It has 28 teeth like a swamp rabbit, which helps it to have a woody diet.
- During the daytime, they like to rest, and in the afternoon, they come out of their brush covers and do whatever they want to do.
- Foot thumping symbolizes their being frightened, and it continues until the fear is totally gone.
- Adult length falls between 9 to 13 inches. However, females are usually larger than males.
- They are not-so-big rabbits, and their average weight Is nearly less than a kg.
- 90% of their habitat is destroyed due to human imposed activities such as desertification and farming.
- Only a few of them live in the wild, while most of these species were took away by Caswell Memorial State Park.
- In 2005, more than two dozen of these rabbits were released in the wild near San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge.
Brush rabbit physical appearance
As I told u earlier, these rabbits are not-so-long, medium-sized, and from the cottontail species. The coat is equally dark, and it’s made of steel grayish-blackish-orangish furs. Its ears have a normal size like most of the rabbits have. However, its tail being a cottontail rabbit is almost hidden. Its tail is not white like other cottontails, but its color follows the body color, dark brown.
Brush rabbits, due to their physical appearance, may also be taken as pets and for sports too because they are capable of running at high speed. Moreover, they are also hunted because it’s meat tastes good. On the other sides, it has some negative aspects as they cause damage to crops and flowers.
Brush rabbit habitat
Brush rabbit, just like their names, adores living in brush areas, which are those areas where shrubs dominate vegetative land. These areas comprise brush plants, plants having flowers whose spikes bloom at the end of the stems, thus resembling a bottle brush.
This rabbit forms crisscross of runways all over the vegetation. It does not make its own burrows but lives inside the burrows made by other species. Studies have shown that these rabbits’ use of grassy lands has fallen off, and it is usually seen in brushy areas.
What does the brush rabbit eat?
All rabbits are herbivorous means they eat on plants, and therefore, there is not much difference in their diet. Thus, like all other rabbits, brush rabbits eat grass, shrubs, vegetables. They feed on grasses, and clovers, bromes, and thistles, mostly in the riparian areas.
But the areas where they used to feed is not far away from where they live. Their diet changes with the season; I winter season; they start to feed on twigs, buds, and wild rose.
Brush rabbit baby
These rabbits breed throughout the year, but the period is different in different regions. In California, they breed from December to May, and in Oregon, breeding starts from February and continues until August. After the reproduction, they are again ready to mate. Their gestation period lasts 27 days. Per matting, 3 to 4 young are born. Youngs are born with closed eyes, which are fully opened after 10 days of their birth. Youngs, when they become 4 to 5 months old, start to breed.
Brush rabbit lifespan
There is not much research have done on the longevity of these rabbits; however, the average lifespan of these rabbits is 6 years. However, As I have told u earlier, they adapt different techniques to be safe from predators, helping them have a longer lifetime. One more thing that nature has given them is their body color, their body color matches with the brushes they live, so it’s a hard row to hoe for a predator to spot and hunt them.
Are brush rabbits endangered?
These rabbits use different techniques when it feels being stalked by a predator. Whenever they are in danger, they warn their companions by using vocalizations. They can also sit still for a long time to pose as if it is dead. And when they feel predator is about to assail them, it runs at a very high speed. Its major predators are snakes, mountain lions, foxes.
Besides all these tricks they use to be safe, they are still endangered, and this time, it’s not the predator. It is human by whom its habitat is degrading and in loss, causing its population to decrease. During the flood in 1997, it was believed that they are almost extinct, and after that, no organization worked for its rehabilitation. Currently, it is on the list of endangered species.
How many riparian brush rabbits are left?
Its overall population estimate is not available, but 13 known subspecies come under the main species, Sylvilagus bachmani (brush rabbit). One of them is the riparian brush rabbit. They are recognized as the most endangered subspecies of this rabbit. And out of them, according to the IUCN red list, there are only 300-600 riparian’s are left. And the reason behind its population decline is its 98% loss in habitat due to wildfire or certain diseases.