It isn't fair to the animals already living there to release another competitor into their home range to the detriment of both of them. Humans can contract tularemia by ingesting undercooked rabbit meat or by handling a dead or sick rabbit.” Zoonotic diseases, gotta love them…. Verts, B. J., and Leslie N. Carraway. These rabbits are a mottled brown, often with a white stripe on their forehead, whitish feet and a short tail that is white on the underside. Place the trap near cover where rabbits feed or rest, or where they gain entry under a fence. Females create shallow nests that they line with leaves, grass and fur. After which it is consumed and digested a second time. It is common to provide perches for owls and hawks in some commercial areas to control rabbits, hares, and small rodents. They prefer to live in a habitat of brushy, forested strips with open areas nearby, swamp edges and weed patches in the lowlands. Thanks. During the summer months to prepare for winter, they will collect a pile of extra wildflowers and grasses and lay them out in the sun. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998. I know of a few spots around here in southeast Washington to score a cottontail once in a while. The Eastern cottontail (rabbit) (Sylvilagus floridanus)(Fig. Washington is also home to three species of hares: the snowshoe hare and two others, called “jackrabbits.”. A rabbit's appetite can get it into trouble with gardeners, landscapers, orchardists, and foresters throughout the year. Use tight-fitting gates and keep them closed as much as possible. Eastern cottontails, Nuttall’s cottontail, snowshoe hares, jackrabbits, as well as white-tailed and black-tailed rabbits are all illegal to keep as pets. It is slate-gray with a buff-colored tail and is found in the dense sagebrush and rabbitbrush areas of south-central Washington (where fewer than 50 of these rabbits exist). Electric netting is intended for temporary use at any one site, making it ideal for seasonal gardens. All Lagomorphs are herbivores, they deal with their fibrous diets by a process known as hindgut fermentation where some of their food is digested immediately and some goes through a longer process to extract more nutrients. The cottontail is one of the most common small mammals in Minnesota. Active year round, Snowshoe hares are the diet of choice for Canada Lynx and their populations are closely linked. For detailed additional information on trapping rabbits, see Trapping Wildlife. The following are suggestions for preventing conflicts. Visual scare tactics include mylar tape and mylar party balloons located above areas of potential damage, and pinwheels and other devices located at ground level. 7). Lastly, we have the Domestic rabbit aka the European rabbit or Belgian hare. The state … 1) was introduced to several areas in Washington as a game animal beginning in the 1930s. Once a rabbit gets into a fenced area, it may not be able to get out without being directed to a gate or other opening. 2 slides. It was a rabbit that hopped and was very similar to those of today, but with smaller ears and a longer tail. Because legal status, trapping restrictions, and other information about rabbits change, contact your local wildlife office for updates. In some cases, protecting individual plants may be more practical than excluding from an entire area. However, a special trapping permit is required from the Department of Fish and Wildlife for the use of all other types of traps. In extreme cold or heat, they may seek greater protection by burrowing into snowdrifts or using another mammal's unoccupied burrow (Fig. In 2011 a gigantic fossil was unearthed on the small island Mallorca, off the coast of Spain. It’s so un… Rabbit droppings are easy to identify in any season and are found in groups of five to ten scattered on the ground in feeding areas (Fig. Animals on the move are highly stressed because they are insecure until they know the safe places they can bolt to. Female domestic rabbits (and our rare Pygmy rabbits) excavate burrows for their shelter and den site. In that time the mother stays away from the nest, only returning at dusk and dawn to nurse her young to keep predators at bay. Twig clipping by rabbits and hares is sometimes confused with deer browsing. In snowy regions their pineal gland senses the change in daylight and triggers a coat change from brown to white. Droppings are generally spherical, sometimes slightly oblong or irregular, but never acorn- or capsule-shaped like those of deer and elk. The claws occasionally register, and on hard ground this may be the only sign of a passing rabbit or hare. Weighing in at two to three pounds, like most all lagomorphs, they are bountiful breeders and have two to three litters of up to seven young between April and August. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1994. They have large hind feet with furry soles which prevents them from sinking in the snow and protects them from the cold. Once rabbits and hares are used to feeding in an area, all control tactics become less effective. Although most of the lagomorph species in Washington are found in the Cascades and to the east, the most common seen in western Washington are Snowshoe Hares … cottontail rabbits in Washington at AmericanListed.com – Classifieds across Washington. They are on an endangered species list and face state protection. Tularemia. The Snoqualmie Valley is home to four: The Snowshoe Hare, Pika, Eastern Cottontail and, to a lesser extent, the Domestic Rabbit. The body is lighter color with a white underside on the tail. Next up is the critter we most see in the valley, the Eastern Cottontail. Wonderful fact-filled and enjoyable article! The Eastern cottontail (rabbit) (Sylvilagus floridanus)(Fig. Where deep snow is common, fences will need to be higher, or adjusted to exclude animals during winter. Usually solitary animals, their young can disperse as young as one month old. It was six times the size of the four-pound cottontails of today, had smaller eyes and ears, dug for its food and didn’t hop. Famous for their reproductive abilities, rabbits have a 30-day gestation (pregnancy) period, and have several litters containing four to eight young each year. Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage. Nests and dens are located in or near brushy fencerows or field edges, brush piles, gullies containing shrubs, and landscaped areas with suitable cover. For bait, use fresh vegetables in summer; apples, carrots, or bread in winter. Hence, it is often more effective to use the above recommendations for making the site less attractive to rabbits, than to constantly trap them. Females of most rabbit species create a shallow, bowl like nest called a “form,” and line it with leaves, grass, and fur plucked from their bellies. Placed over the seedlings, they provide protection from animals as well as late frosts. Anther option is to create a 1-foot wide wire apron on top of the ground on the animal side of the fence. Rabbits' survival depends on their sitting still for long periods, a trait they've likely developed to avoid being seen by predators who watch for movement. It averages 17 inches in length and is light brown in color; the white underside of its 2-inch tail is readily visible when the rabbit runs. These bunnies have been joined by … Corvalis: Oregon State University Press, 1998. Found throughout the state, eastern cottontail rabbits are most common in southern Michigan landscapes with abundant edge habitat.An edge is the area where two different habitats meet, such as a field and a forest. Washington State is home to eight of these species—six native species: Nuttall’s Cottontail, Pygmy Rabbit, Pika, Snowshoe Hare, Black-tailed Jackrabbit and White-tailed Jackrabbit and two non-native or introduced species: Eastern Cottontail and Domestic Rabbit. Research has shown that repellents with putrescent whole-egg solids can reduce browsing by rabbits. Two species of rabbits are native to Washington and two others have been introduced to the area. Rabbits, hares, voles, muskrats, nutrias, and beavers are some of the species that can be infected with the bacterial disease tularemia (see "Public Health Concerns" in Beavers). Most Snowshoe Hares in Washington remain a dark brown with a tail that is dusky to white on the underside. The large feet of the snowshoe hare make a good sound thump, and often when a family group is together, one will be lookout and thump a warning when something suspicious approaches. This could result in sections becoming inoperative, which may be difficult to detect. The Snoqualmie Valley is home to four: The Snowshoe Hare, Pika, Eastern Cottontail and, to a lesser extent, the Domestic Rabbit. The species has 91 members, with Washington State being home to eight. Eastern cottontail rabbit sitting up being alert in the grass in springtime during the day Full grown eastern cottontail rabbit sitting up and alert in green grass in the backyard on a sunny day in spring An Eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridus) sitting under a privet hedge. They prefer forests, thickets, swamps and mountainous areas as habitats. In some parts of Oregon, the Brush Rabbit and the introduced Eastern Cottontail have interbred. The cottontail bunny is a midsize rabbit and a herbivore, and female cottontails average three to four litters per year. Range. In areas covered with snow, young plants may be clipped off at snow height, and the smooth, thin bark of trees and shrubs may be completely girdled. It is found in sagebrush areas, weed and tall-grass patches, and orchards throughout eastern Washington. For safety considerations, shooting is generally limited to rural situations and is considered too hazardous in more populated areas, even if legal. Rabbits and hares are more likely to go under a fence than over it. Its appearance differs from that of a hare in that it has a brownish-gray coloring around the head and neck. The first time, in the early 20th century to a rabbit reserve, most died off during a harsh winter. The Pygmy rabbit (Sylvilagus idahoensis)(Fig. This rabbit is seen throughout the state, especially in semi-open areas that have thick, low cover such as brush piles and hedges. The upperparts vary from reddish to grayish brown sprinkled with black; when fluffed, the fur of the rump is grayish. Rabbit droppings are about 3/8 inch in diameter, and are composed of light brown, sawdust-like material. The Nuttall's cottontail (rabbit) (Sylvilagus nuttallii,  averages 14 inches in length, is gray or brownish-gray, and has a relatively short, inconspicuous white tail. At two weeks of age the young rabbits begin to eat vegetation; at four to five weeks old they are feeding alongside their mother. Protecting vulnerable plants from rabbit damage within a fence, and landscaping with rabbit resistant plants elsewhere makes an effective combination. Hares do not burrow or build nests because their young are precocial: born in an advanced state and able to feed themselves almost immediately. Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) White-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii) European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) Nuttall's Cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii) Return to the Mammals of Washington home page Like other lagomorphs they are an important prey species for carnivores including lynx, bobcats, hawks, owls, foxes and coyotes. Another form of control is to remove brush piles, weed patches, rock piles, and other debris where rabbits live and hide. Mammals of the Pacific Northwest: From the Coast to the High Cascades. Adapted to life in areas that rarely get above freezing, the pika can overheat and die when exposed to temperatures as low as 78 degrees. The second time the rabbits thrived destroying crops, gardens and eventually swelling to one million rabbits on San Juan Island in the 70’s. 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