Pygmy rabbit is not the rabbit that we generally see while roaming around in the jungle or while visiting pet houses. They are somewhat different from other rabbits and this is because of their smallest size and being rare in number. In the language of science they are called as “Brachylagus idaheonsis” Unlike other rabbits Its body furs are grey in color, it also has some brown spots upon its back. Its body and legs follows the same color.
The Top of its ears is usually round and black in the middle, pygmy rabbits are fatty leproid and its tail is too small to see and is usually hidden because of its fatty body and small size. During winter its furs become thick and molt but in summer they become super soft.
Pygmy rabbits live in the areas where sagebrush grows in huge as it is their source of habitat and also the place to hide. They are found in Arizona , California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
Rabbits are leproid and belongs to lagomorph mammals ( mammals that have furs on their bodies and long straight ears). these rabbits being specie of rabbits also belongs to this class of mammals. “Pygmy’’ word is used to refer those species that are smallest from other similar species of their class and so is the pygmy rabbits.
|Scientific Name||Brachylagus idaheonsis|
|Life Span||3- 5 years|
|Size||300 – 500 grams|
|Length||11 cm approx..|
|Gestation Period||27-30 days|
Pygmy rabbits Facts
Now , Lets know about some exciting facts and features God has given to pygmy rabbits.
- Female pygmy rabbits has more height than male ones.
- Pygmy rabbits is one of the two specie that dig burrows by their own.
- Pygmy rabbits is the smallest specie of rabbits weights about 300-500 grams.
- Its size is so small that you can even hide it inside your hands while shaping them as a shelter.
- Its body length varies from 9 to 11 inch approx.
Pygmy rabbits habitat & diet:
Being small in size makes them an easy prey to predators because of which they need to hide in the areas where they are difficult to find. Pygmy rabbits live in the areas where sagebrush grows in huge as it is their only source of habitat along with the grass and also the place to hide.
One of the major fact about Pygmy rabbits is that they dig their own burrows and mostly live under them until the sagebrush is large enough to hide them. Throughout the winter season they live in the burrows to be safe from the thick cold weather. In winter their diet consists 90% proportion of Sagebrush while in Summer grass is also added.
Pygmy rabbits reproduction:
Pygmy rabbits at the age of 1 year starts to breed. Their reproduction is highly dependent on female pygmies which is influenced by the healthiness of habitat they eat while males testes become ready to reproduce in 3 months by late January to march but time varies in different regions. The gestation period lasts 30 to 31 days. Their breeding season is small and is different in different regions but the average is 3 months.
Pygmy rabbits Babies:
These rabbits themselves are small in size so their babies are even smaller from them. Its babies are called juveniles and they become adult at the age of 9 to 12 months. These rabbits give birth three times a year and per birth 6 to 7 baby rabbits are born.
Being a mammal, female Pygmy has glands that helps it to produce milk so that it can feed its baby rabbits. Pygmy rabbits keep their babies inside the burrows until they become adult.
Can you have Pygmy rabbit as a pet?
Mostly people keep animals as a pet especially when it comes to children, they find rabbits cute but you cannot keep the naturally grown pygmy rabbits as a pet because of their decreasing population however their breeds are available to keep as a pet. These rabbits are in the list of endangered species as few of them are left and many of them were used for breeding. Therefore If someone has desire to keep pygmy rabbits as a pet you can go for breaded ones.
Pygmy rabbits adaptations:
These rabbits are prey to weasels to hide from them pygmy rabbits using their claws dig burrows and hide under them. To alarm each other of the presence of any predator they use vocalization.
Pygmy rabbits in the Oregon Zoo:
Oregon zoo was the first zoo in the world that successfully bred pygmy rabbits. Due to the habitat loss pygmy rabbits started to decline in number. In 2004, only 16 pygmy rabbits were left in Washington which were then taken to Oregon zoo where different breeding techniques were implemented. Oregon Zoo got successful in breeding These rabbits in 2011 when its first bred pygmy rabbits reproduced and gave birth successfully.
How many pygmy rabbits are left?
Loss of habitat, agricultural projects and fire incidents have been playing their part in the reason of declining population of These rabbits. In late 2000 only few of them were left, some of them were taken by biologists for different breeding programs. In 2009, the last naturally grown rabbits has passed away but the breaded ones are still present and biologists are playing their role to conserve the unique breed.