Desert cottontail

Sylvilagus audubonii

TAXONOMY

Sylvilagus audubonii (Baird, 1858), San Francisco Co., California, United States. Twelve subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Audubon's cottontail; French: Lapin Audubon; German: Audubonkaninchen; Spanish: Conejo del desierto.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body length 14-15 in (37-40 cm); tail 1.6-2.4 in (4-6 cm); weight 26.5-44 oz (750-1,250 g). A relatively large cottontail with large ears.

DISTRIBUTION

From Montana south to central Mexico and west to the Cali-fornian coast.

HABITAT

Typically arid areas, but also at higher altitudes.

BEHAVIOR

Not social, but with overlapping home ranges of up to 15 acres (6 ha).

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Diet mostly grasses, but also some wood species such as Rosa and Rubus.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Males and females promiscuous. Mean litter size two to three; breeding season from January to August; sexual maturity reached as early as 80 days after birth.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Common; not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Important game species. ♦

0 0

Post a comment