Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Endangered Pygmy Rabbits are Back Breeding in the Columbia Basin

That is not a baby rabbit I am holding in my hands. What it is is a Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit.

The Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbits are an endangered species.

Until recently it had been 10 years since Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbits reproduced in their native habitat.

This past spring, Pygmy Rabbits bred in the Oregon Zoo were moved back to their native habit, on a wildlife reserve near Ephrata, Washington.

Wildlife managers have confirmed several litters of Pygmy Rabbit babies in the 6 acre wildlife reserve. Baby Pygmy Rabbits are called kits.

Previous efforts to return Pygmy Rabbits to their native habitat have failed. Pygmy Rabbits have a tough time in the wild, existing pretty much at the bottom of the food chain.

And Pygmy Rabbit moms are not Mother Nature's best mothers. After giving birth in a burrow the Pygmy Rabbit mother back fills the burrow, then takes off, returning once a day to uncover the burrow, yanking the kits to the surface, nursing them, then putting the kits back in the burrow, then sealing it up again.

Until this spring's successful breeding in the wild it is believed there were no Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbits left in the wild.

I wonder if Pygmy Rabbits make good pets?

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