Brush Rabbit

The Brush Rabbit is a species of cottontail found along the West Coast of North America from Oregon's Columbia River to the Baja Peninsula. Some specimens have been found as far east as the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain range and the Sierra Nevadas. It is not considered threatened in any way.

This rabbit likes to hide in dense vegetation. It will be equally happy in chaparral, oak or conifer habitats. In large areas of brush or grassland, they will form networks of runways through the vegetation. It will borrow burrows dug by other animals, but will not dig its own.

It is smaller than many other cottontail species, rarely weighing over two pounds at maturity. Various subspecies have developed in microhabitats throughout Oregon and California. Some of these subspecies are highly endangered, such as the Riparian.

Most will produce two or three litters per year, though they may have as many as five litters when conditions are right. The males tend to have a larger range than the females. Males may range over just under an acre, while females tend to stay in areas of half an acre or less.

They tend to do things together, but each rabbit has its own space; they always maintain a distance of 1 to 24 feet between them. If any felt the distance was too small, aggressive chases occur. They tend to eat mostly grasses and clovers, though they have been known to browse and eat berries.

Brush rabbits are not hunted because they are so small, and those subspecies that are endangered are protected by law. This rabbit is preyed upon by cougars, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, weasels, snakes and raptors.

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