USA: rare pygmy rabbits released


This video is called Pygmy Rabbits Released Into The Wild.

From Associated Press:

Pygmy Rabbits Raised in Captivity Freed

By JOHN K. WILEY, Associated Press Writer

Wildlife officials Tuesday released 20 Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits that were raised in captivity to a sagebrush-covered area of central Washington state where their ancestors roamed before teetering on the edge of extinction.

The pygmy rabbits were born and raised at Washington State University and the Portland Zoo in Oregon and are descendants of the last known wild rabbits caught in 2002 for a captive breeding program intended to restore the endangered species.

The effort is similar to the breeding programs that brought back the California condor, said Ren Lohoefener, Pacific regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Portland, Ore.

Update: here.

May 2011: Renewed field efforts to recover endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits are underway this spring in eastern Washington shrub-steppe habitat of America: here.

One last effort to save these tiny rabbits from extinction: here.

A new study found that white-tailed jack rabbits have vanished from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where the bunnies were once abundant: here.

Hares, rabbits, and Easter: here.

4 thoughts on “USA: rare pygmy rabbits released

  1. Rare striped rabbit spotted in Indonesia rainforest
    Thu Apr 5, 2007 8:16AM EDT

    JAKARTA (Reuters) – One of the world’s rarest rabbits has been captured on camera in Indonesia’s rainforests for only the third time ever, a leading conservation group said on Thursday.

    The Sumatran striped rabbit — a little over a foot long and chalk colored with dark brown stripes — is critically endangered and was last photographed in the Bukit Barisan Park in 2000, the World Conservation Society (WCF) said in a statement.

    A program manager at WCF’s Indonesian office, Nick Brickle, said the rabbit was photographed in a forest in south Sumatra at the end of January.

    “It is a nocturnal animal. Other than that, we do not know more about it,” Brickle told Reuters, describing it as about 30 cm (12 inches) long and similar in size to a small cat.

    “They live in forests, up in the mountains. What you need to protect the rabbit is protect the forest.”

    The WCF statement said the rabbit was only known to exist in the mountains of Sumatra and was thought to be the only representative of its genus.

    In 1999 researchers discovered another striped rabbit in the Annamite Mountains straddling Laos and Vietnam, but although both seem similar in appearance genetic samples revealed that the two were separate species.

    © Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

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  2. ‘Hefner’ bunnies get help as population dwindles
    POSTED: 4:16 p.m. EDT, May 20, 2007

    BIG PINE KEY, Florida (AP) — Hugh Hefner may seem like he will live forever, but the Florida Keys rabbits named after him may not.

    The population of rabbits on Big Pine Key has dwindled by about 50 percent in the past two years and is in danger of being wiped out. The Latin name for the rabbit is Sylvilagus palustris hefneri. That’s a reference to Hefner, the Playboy magazine founder who financed research that identified the species in 1980.

    The medium-sized, dark brown cottontail with a grayish-white belly was put on the federal endangered species list in 1990 when the population in the Florida Keys was estimated at 200.

    Wildlife officials plan to begin a program next week to trap feral and stray cats, hoping that keeping a predator away will mean that the population of Lower Keys marsh rabbits will grow. The strategy worked on another group of the animals at the Naval Air Station at Boca Chica, Florida.

    Officials will begin the program to trap cats Monday near the rabbit habitat at the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key.

    Not everyone is happy about the program. Some activists dressed up in cat suits and waved signs in protest near the refuge when the program was announced a month ago. Refuge officials said the cats will be “humanely trapped alive” and then transported to animal shelters.

    Officials did not know how many cats could be trapped.

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

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