Where I blab about bunnies and encourage your bunny (and other animal) stories.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pygmy rabbits

When it's said that Netherland Dwarfs are the smallest rabbits (Kayla's not even 3 pounds), what should be said is that they're the smallest domesticated rabbit breed. I just found out about pygmy rabbits, which weigh around a pound and measure 4-6 inches in length. Pygmy rabbits are found in the Columbia Basin (Washington) and Great Basin (Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada) of the United States, according to The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. I've contacted them to find out if they have any recent information about the species, since all the articles I can find cite the same numbers: less than 30 pygmy rabbits were left in 2003. There was a captive breeding program and a reintroduction program that was taking place in the early years of this decade, but recent updates to those stories are a bit hard to come by.

If you know of any post-2003 info about the pygmies, please comment and let me know. When I hear from the Wash. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, I'll post their email (with their approval, of course).


  • At 4/11/2006 3:40 PM, Blogger Karla said…

    Hi Dana, as it happens my parents sent me a clipping awhile back that may be about the pygmy rabbits. It says that "riparian brush rabbits" weighing a pound each are being released around the San Joaquin River area in California. I don't know if it's the same species, but it is described as one of California's most endangered mammals. Thirty of them were to be released to bring back the wild population.

  • At 4/26/2006 7:07 PM, Anonymous Jen said…

    hi,i'm just wring how they protect them selves in the wild

  • At 4/26/2006 11:27 PM, Blogger Bunnylvr said…

    Like all bunnies in the wild... they have burrows underground and retreat into them when there's danger.

  • At 5/07/2006 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thought this info might interest you.

    Captive breeding began with 18 Columbia Basin animals. Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits have had reduced reproductive performance in captivity when compared with Idaho pygmy rabbits. Attempts to increase numbers of Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits in captivity have failed. There are currently only 8 pygmy rabbits of 100% Columbia Basin genetics remaining in captivity.

    Crossing between Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits and Idaho pygmy rabbits has successfully increased genetic diversity and reproduction. Current captive breeding goals are to produce animals that have at least ¾ of their genetic makeup from the Columbia Basin for reintroduction efforts. As of December 2005, 81 rabbits remain in captivity, 9 of which are 100% Columbia Basin and 72 intercross Columbia Basin/Idaho pygmy rabbits.

    from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife



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