Rabbit breeds are divided into many species, the examples of the popular ones are Holland Lop, Flemish Giant Rabbit, Mix Rex Rabbit, Angora Rabbit, and others. There’s a lot of reasons why people love to pet rabbit, the first thing and primarily reasons – of course rabbit’s adorable features. Rabbit is just look alike furry ball creature that ready to fill your day with the sunshine. The other common reason is rabbit relatively small than other animals (depend on the breeds).
Small pets are the perfect choice for you who have limited amount of space inside your house. These are several small animal you could pet inside a small area: chinchilla, guinea pig, hamsters, squirrel (classified as exotic animal), rabbit, and etc. However, taking care rabbit is relatively easy; they were docile, gentle, and easy to manage – but, still, there are several basic guidelines you must learn about them. The examples are how to choose the friendly rabbit toys and things that must be considered when you buy the rabbit cage.
Furthermore, because of these varieties of breeds, you need to choose the perfect breed for you. So, besides all of those breeds I mentioned above, do you ever hear about pygmy rabbit? But, lucky you, today we would discuss and learn about all you need to know about pygmy rabbit.
Pygmy rabbit was the origin of North America rabbit species. This species is one of two rabbit species in America that that dig their own burrow. Pygmy rabbit are divide into several species and unfortunately one of theirs was declared as endangered species called Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit by U.S Federal Government. Another fact about pygmy rabbit is that they were classified as the world’s smallest leporid.
The adult of pygmy rabbit was recorded about 23.5 to 29.5 centimeters in length and the weight is about 375 to 500 grams; similar to the majority of mammals, female of pygmy rabbits are bigger than the male. It’s quite simple to differentiate pygmy rabbit to other leporids; they have small bodies, small hind legs, their tails was lack of white color, and the iconic short ears.
Pygmy Rabbit’s Habitat
Pygmy rabbits are usually picked an area that rich of dense, tall sagebrush, plus deep soil ones. This particular area chosen because the multi-function uses as the shelter and the rich source of foods. The minimum size of sagebrush must be approximate about 1.8 meters or 6 feet in height. The dense, sagebrush often used as the runaways interlace by pygmy; the plants would provide the perfect escape and travel routes which form as corridor.
Keep in mind, pygmy rabbit is the only one North America Native leporid that dig their own burrows. Mostly, the burrows are the most important matter for juveniles compare to other ages; this is because the reproductive activities happened inside the burrow. Once pygmy rabbits are able to utilize sagebrush, the use of burrow would be decrease over the time. The highlight intensity of burrow application was during the winter due to protect pygmy from the extreme temperature.
The burrow itself was located at the base of sage brush’s slopes. Burrow was built in specific measurement: a forming chamber tunnel supposed to widen below the surface, and the depth would extend about 3.3 feet or about one meter. The typical normal burrow would have about 4 to 5 entrances; the lowest burrow’s entrances are about to and the highest is about 10 entrances. The selection of nest is also depend on each area, one of the example is in Oregon.
In Oregon, pygmy rabbit prefer deeper soils area. Furthermore, in the area which cover by shallow soils, this species would live among the volcanic rock’s holes, abandoned buildings, stone walls, and abandoned nest of marmots and badgers. Another research find that rabbit would never go far more than 18 meters of about 60 feet from the burrow.
The Distribution of Pygmy Rabbit
The population of pygmy rabbit was concentrate across The Great Basin and around areas of adjacent inter-mountain of western North America. Moreover, from southwest Montana to the border of north Idaho to northeast Utah, eastern California and northern Nevada. These are the most populated routes of pygmy rabbit across America; however, there are isolated population distribution which is across Wyoming and east-central Washington.
Reportedly, about 1,370 to 2,135 meters or about 4,495 to 7,005 feet was the elevation pygmy rabbit range in Nevada only, meanwhile in California 1,520 to 1,615 meter or about 4,987 to 5,299 feet of range elevation. Furthermore, In Oregon Zoo of Portland, March 30, 2006 Washington State – specifically in Columbia Basin, was the only place left for the last male purebred of Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. How about the female of purebred pygmy rabbit? Unfortunately, the last one was died in 2008.
Pygmy Rabbit Food Habit
So, now we would enter the last discussion of pygmy rabbit food habit of our main topic: all you need to know about pygmy rabbit. However, pygmy rabbit main food is the sagebrush which is take about 99% main source of food during the winter. In the late summer, pygmy rabbit would consume forbs and grasses as the main diet. In Eng, Gates, and Idaho, from July to December the shrub was contributed about 85% of diet.
But, around August the shrub was reach the lowest percentage which is about 73.1%. Furthermore, the big sagebrush reviled become the most important main diet in July to December which is about 54.1%, the it follows by rubber rabbitbrush which is about 25.8%, and the last position was filled by wnterfat which is about 4.6%. Beside the shrub, there are two other important diet that consumed by pygmy rabbit during July to August: the first one was called Indian ricegrass and the second one was called needlegrass.
Meanwhile, in Green and Flinders, southeast Idaho throughout summer pygmy rabbit consumed big sagebrush which is take over about 51% of their whole diet, and other shrub was consumed as an addition. The famous diet of pygmy rabbit during summer is bluebunch wheatgrass, thickspike wheatgrass, and sandberg bluegrass.