Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis)

 {Click on an image to enlarge, then use the back button to return to this page}
This page last updated on 03/26/2018
(Fig. 01)

Picture Notes: All of the pictures on this page were taken at the Floyd Lamb Park in Las Vegas. Figure 01 was captured on 9 February 2016. The remaining pictures were taken on 12 February 2018. On this last visit there were more and a dozen of the furry little animals.

(Fig. 02)

Description: The pygmy rabbit is the smallest rabbit species in North America and can fit in the palm of a hand. Their average weight is 0.827 to about 1.102 lb. Their body length is from 9.3 to 11.6 inches; females are slightly larger than males. As you can see from (Fig. 03), their fur color varies from brown to dark grey with white around the margins of their short, round ears. Their ears and feet are densely covered in hair and they have a very short tail, 15 to 24 mm. The pygmy rabbit is one of only two rabbit species in America to dig its own burrow. Burrows are dug in deep loose soil and are extensive, with multiple, interconnecting chambers. They also use natural cavities and the burrows of other animals. Burrows have several entrances, usually at the bases of large sagebrush shrubs. Tunnels widen below the surface, forming chambers, and extend to a maximum depth of about 3.3 feet. Burrows typically have 4 or 5 entrances but may have as few as 2 or as many as 10. Pygmy rabbits use a system of runways between food plants, both above ground in the summer and below the snow in winter. Pygmy rabbits use burrows more in the winter for thermal cover than at other times of the year. In areas where soil is shallow pygmy rabbits live in holes among volcanic rocks, in stone walls, around abandoned buildings, and in burrows made by badgers and marmots. They move by scampering close to the ground and generally don’t leap. Pygmy rabbits are normally in areas on deep soils with tall, dense sagebrush which they use for shelter and food. Individual sagebrush plants in areas inhabited by pygmy rabbits are often 6 feet or more in height. Extensive, well-used runways interlace the sage thickets and provide travel and escape routes. Weasels are the principal predators of pygmy rabbits. Coyotes, red foxes, badgers, bobcats, great horned owls and marsh hawks also prey on pygmy rabbits. The range of the pygmy rabbit includes most of the Great Basin and some of the adjacent intermountain areas of the western United States. Pygmy rabbits are found in southwestern Montana from the extreme southwest corner near the Idaho border north to Dillon and Bannack in Beaverhead County. Distribution continues west to southern Idaho and southern Oregon and south to northern Utah, Nevada, and eastern California.

(Fig. 03)