In search of rabbits

February 21, 2019
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Pygmy rabbits, that is. Photo below is a pygmy rabbit from previous trapping surveys

Lander - Nongame personnel have been out on the snow this winter looking for signs of pygmy rabbits. They have been busy visiting 75 different locations near Lander, Green River, and Pinedale. When they visit a site, they walk or often snowshoe looking for scat, burrows, and maybe even pygmy rabbits themselves. 

Pygmy rabbits are our smallest rabbit species in Wyoming and are considered sagebrush obligates - sagebrush provides both cover and food, with up to 99% of their winter diet comprised of sagebrush.  During the winter, pygmy rabbits are particularly dependent on areas of dense, tall sagebrush, and the snow cover provides excellent conditions to detect the signs they leave behind, even when the rabbits are underground keeping warm in their burrows.

So far, the crew has surveyd 34 of the 75 sites and have detected pygmy rabbits on about 12% of them. Surveys will continue for about eight more weeks. 

 

- WGFD -


 
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