Pygmy Rabbit

The Pygmy Rabbit is the smallest species of rabbit in North America. They have short ears, small hind legs and dusky gray bodies. They depend on sagebrush not only for food, but also for cover. They are the only rabbits in Nevada that dig their own burrows, though they sometimes use dens made by other animals.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Brachylagus idahoensis
CLASSIFICATION
Mammal
LIFE SPAN
3-5 Years
SIZE
9.3-11.7 ” | 0.8-1.1 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
GAME TYPE
Upland Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Pygmy Rabbits depend highly on sagebrush and sagebrush-steppe habitat for food and shelter. They are usually found in areas with tall, dense sagebrush and will make burrows in relatively deep and loose soil near water.

  • Cold desert shrubland and sagebrush

Threats

  • Habitat Degradation
  • Habitat Fragmentation
  • Predation

Fun Facts

The size of Pygmy Rabbit home ranges fluctuate with the seasons. They tend to have smaller home ranges during winter and larger home ranges during the spring and summer. Individuals generally remain near their burrows during the winter. If cornered by a small predator, like a weasel, a Cottontail may "bowl over" the predator and give it a kick with its powerful hind legs.