Click to return to Contents - Rabbits and their Relatives
CONTENTS

Living OrganismsAnimalia / Craniata / Mammalia / Lagomorpha / Leporidae / Sylvilagus / Species

Sylvilagus palustris - Marsh rabbit (Click photographs/illustrations for full picture & further details)

 

INDEX - INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

APPEARANCE / MORPHOLOGY

LIFE STAGES / NATURAL DIET / PHYSIOLOGY

BEHAVIOUR

HABITAT & RANGE

CONSERVATION

Return to top of page

General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Lower Keys marsh rabbit. (B285.w5c)
  • Sylvilagus douglasii. (B607.w20)
  • Sylvilagus palustris hefneri. (B607.w20)
  • Sylvilagus palustris paludicola. (B607.w20)
  • Sylvilagus palustris palustris. (B430.w2, B605.5.w5)
  • Lepus palustris. (J469.153.w1)
  • Lepus paludicola. (J469.153.w1)

Names for new-borns / juveniles

Names for males

Names for females

Return to top of page

General Appearance

Adult:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • "Size is small to medium, with dark brown body and small, slender, dark reddish to buffy feet. The tail is small; the underside is dingy (rarely white) in color. The ears are short and broad." (J469.153.w1)

Newborn: --

Similar Species

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

Sexual Dimorphism

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information
  • No significant sexual dimorphism. (B430.w2)

Return to top of page

References

Species Authors & Referees

Author: Kathryn Pintus BSc MSc MSc (V.w115); Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)

ORGANISATIONS

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

Return to top of page

Husbandry Information

Notes

  • --

Management Techniques

Return to top of page

Appearance / Morphology

Measurement & Weight

Notes

LENGTH
Adult:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • 425-440 mm (Average: 433 mm). (B430.w2)
  • 436 mm average (five specimens). (J469.153.w1)
  • Tail length: 33-39 mm (Average: 36 mm). (B430.w2)
  • No significant sexual dimorphism. (B430.w2)

Newborns: --

HEIGHT
Adults and sub-adults: --
Juveniles: --

WEIGHT
Adult:

  • 1,200-2,200 g. (B430.w2)
  • 1.1-1.6 kg. (B605.5.w5)

Newborns: --

GROWTH RATE --

Return to top of page

Head and Neck

Notes

GENERAL HEAD STRUCTURE:
Adult:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Ears are broad and short. (B430.w2)
  • Length average 52 mm (five specimens, dried). (J469.153.w1)

Newborn: --

DENTITION:
Adult:

General Information

  • Rabbits and hares have a total of 28 teeth. (B285.w5a)
  • The lower tooth rows are closer together than the upper tooth rows. (B147)
  • Lagomorphs differ from rodents by having two pairs of upper incisors rather than just the one pair. The additional set of incisors are called peg teeth and are found directly behind the long pair in the upper jaw. (B147, B285.w5a, B605.1.w1)
  • At birth, lagomorphs actually have three pairs of upper incisors, but they quickly lose the outer incisor on each side. (B147)
  • The incisors are covered completely by enamel. (B147)
  • The upper incisors' roots are found in the skull's premaxillary bones. However, the length of the lower incisors' roots varies. (B147)
    • [Note: lagomorphs have teeth which grow throughout their lives. For this reason the portion of the teeth which is not exposed (not above the gum line) is strictly speaking not a "root"; however, it is sometimes convenient to describe it as a root.]
  • The first upper incisors have a straight cutting edge. (B147)
  • The peg teeth lack a cutting edge. (B147)

EYES:
Adult:

General Information

  • Lagomorph eyes are positioned such that they allow for good broad-field vision. (B285.w5a)
  • Hares and rabbits have large eyes which are adapted to both their crepuscular and nocturnal activity patterns. (B285.w5b)
  • Leporids have "large eyes to increase visual acuity in dim light." (B430.w2)

Newborn: --

Return to top of page

Legs, Spine and Tracks

Notes

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information
  • Slender, petite feet. (B430.w2)
  • Feet are red to buff. (B430.w2)
  • The upperparts of the feet are reddish-brown, while the undersides are darker. (B605.5.w5)
  • Length of hind feet: average 91 mm (five specimens). (J469.153.w1)
  • Long toenails (13% longer than those of Sylvilagus floridanus - Eastern cottontail), provide readily-distinguishable tracks. (J469.153.w1)

Return to top of page

Tail

Notes

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information
  • Dark tail. (B285.w5c)
  • Underside of tail is often white. (B430.w2, B605.5.w5)
  • Length: 
    • 33 - 39 mm (Average: 36 mm). (B430.w2)
    • Average 33 mm (five specimens). (J469.153.w1)
    • Small. (B430.w2, B605.5.w5)

Return to top of page

Skin / Coat / Pelage

Notes

Adult:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Fur is rough. (B605.5.w5)
  • Dark tail. (B285.w5c)
  • Dark brown body. (B430.w2, B605.5.w5)
  • Feet are red to buff in colour. (B430.w2)
  • The upperparts of the feet are reddish-brown, while the undersides are darker. (B605.5.w5)
  • "The belly of the marsh rabbit is reddish-brown and the back of the neck is a dark cinnamon color. The back, rump, upper tail and hind legs range from chestnut brown to a rusty red in color. The abdomen is white, with the rest of the belly varying from buff to brown." (B430.w2)
  • Two moults per year. (B285.w5c)
  • Back including rump, upper tail and hind legs chestnut brown to dark rusty red, with nape dark rufous cinnamon, and underside buff to light brown, being white on the abdomen. (J469.153.w1)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • No species within this genus are known to turn white in the winter. (B147)

Adult Colour variations: --

Newborn / Juvenile: --

Return to top of page

Detailed Anatomy Notes
(Summary information provided for pertinent species-specific data cross-referenced in Wildpro)

Notes

Skull

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • Species of this genus have an interparietal bone. (B605.5.w5)
  • The skull has a highly fenestrated maxillary bone. (B605.5.w5)
Female reproductive tract

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • Females have four or five pairs of mammae. (B147, B287)
Male reproductive tract

Lagomorph general information

  • Male lagomorphs lack a baculum. (B147)
  • Testes of lagomorphs are in the scrotum located in front of the penis. (B147)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • Males have inguinal and coagulating glands. (B287)

Return to top of page

Life Stages / Natural Diet / Physiology

Life Stages

Notes

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • "Very little is known about marsh rabbit biology and ecology." (B605.5.w5)

BREEDING SEASON:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Breeds year-round. (B147, B430.w2, B605.5.w5, J469.153.w1)
    • Anoestrous females have also been found in all months. (J469.153.w1)
  • Certainly breeds year-round in the southern parts of its range. (B147)
  • In southeastern USA, this species is known to mate between February and September. (B287)
  • Pregnant females have been found in February in Georgia (USA), and year-round in southern Florida. (B287)

OESTRUS / OVULATION:

General Information

GESTATION / PREGNANCY:

General Information

  • Under adverse conditions (such as during climatic or social stress), female lagomorphs are able to resorb embryos. (B285.w5a)
  • It is thought that some lagomorph species are able to conceive a second litter even before the last young is born; this is known as superfetation. (B285.w5a)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Gestation period is between 30 and 37 days. (B147, B430.w2)
  • Estimated 30 - 37 days. (J469.153.w1)

PARTURITION / BIRTH:

  • Newborn rabbits are born with very little or no fur, and their eyes do not open until 4-10 days after birth. (B285.w5b)
  • Rabbits produce altricial kittens (B285.w5b, B430.w2) which are born into fur-lined nests built either under dense cover or within underground chambers. (B285.w5b)

NEONATAL / DEVELOPMENTt:

General Information

  • Newborn rabbits are born with very little or no fur, and their eyes do not open until 4-10 days after birth. (B285.w5b)
  • Young are only suckled briefly once every 24 hours. (B285.w5b)
  • Rabbit kittens remain together within their breeding chambers. (B285.w5)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • Born furred but blind. Eyes open between 2 and 10 days of age. (B287)
  • Young are altricial, and are born naked. (B605.5.w5)

LITTER SIZE:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Average of two or three young per litter. (B430.w2)
  • Mean litter size about three young. (B605.5.w5)
  • Litter size is generally between three and five young. (B287)
  • In Georgia, 3 - 5. (J469.153.w1)

TIME BETWEEN LITTERS / LITTERS PER YEAR:

General Information

  • The inter-birth interval in lagomorphs is reduced by the phenomenon of induced ovulation, and post-partum oestrus, which allows females to conceive immediately after she has given birth. (B285.w5a)
  • A female can produce up to three or four litters per year. (B430.w2)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Average of six litters produced per year. (B147, B605.5.w5)
  • "Annual production of young ranges from 15 to 20." (B605.5.w5)
  • Average estimated at 5.7 - 6.9 per year (depending on estimated gestation length of 30 - 37 days). (J469.153.w1)

LACTATION / MILK PRODUCTION:

General Information

  • Leporids only release milk once in every 24 hour period. (B285.w5b)
  • Leporid milk has a very high fat and protein content, and as such is highly nutritious. Although the lactation period is brief, the milk is pumped into the young at a high speed.(B285.w5b)
  • The lactation period has a duration of between 17 and 23 days. (B285.w5b)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Lactation is known to occur in November in Georgia, USA. (B287)

SEXUAL MATURITY:

General Information

  • Most species of lagomorph reach sexual maturity relatively early. (B285.w5a)

MALE SEASONAL VARIATION: 

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Adults sexually active year round and juveniles December to May. Annual cycle of testis weight and development of the seminiferous tubules, about one month earlier than the annual cycle of females. (J469.153.w1)

LONGEVITY / MORTALITY:

General Information

  • Rabbits and hares in the wild live for less than a year on average; a maximum age of 12 years has been recorded in a couple of species. (B285.w5b)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • The main known causes of mortality are human related, such as dogs and fire. (J469.153.w1)

Return to top of page

Natural Diet

Notes

NATURAL DIET:

General Information

  • Lagomorphs only eat vegetation, mainly grasses and other herbaceous plants. Bark from young trees and small shrub stems may be eaten when food supplies are scarce. (B147, B285.w5c, B430.w2)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • Cottontails eat a wide variety of plants, the majority of which are herbaceous species. (B147, B285.w5c)
  • During the winter months in colder regions, cottontails feed on the bark and twigs of woody vegetation. (B147, B285.w5c)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • This species feeds on a variety of plants, though it tends to prefer herbaceous plants including

    • Centella (Centella respanda).

    • Marsh pennywort (Hydrocotyle).

    • Cattail (Typha).

    • Rush (Juncus).

    • Water hyacinths. (Eichhornia crassipes)

    (B430.w2, J469.153.w1)

  • Also Smilax sp. vines, tree, shrub and woody vine leaves and twigs, fruit, seeds and cultivated crops suhc as sweet potatoe and carrots. (J469.153.w1)

QUANTITY EATEN:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • About 28% of body weight per day (feeding on Centella (Centella respanda) in captivity). (J469.153.w1)

STUDY METHODS:

  • Observations in the wild and in captivity. (J469.153.w1)

Return to top of page

Hibernation / Aestivation

Notes

General Information
  • Active year-round. (B147)

Return to top of page

Haematology / Biochemistry

Notes

HAEMATOLOGY: --

BIOCHEMISTRY: --

Return to top of page

Detailed Physiology Notes
(Summary information provided for pertinent species-specific data cross-referenced in WILDPro)

Notes

  • "Very little is known about marsh rabbit biology and ecology." (B605.5.w5)

Note: There is very little data specific to this species so the majority of details below are from general lagomorph, leporid and cottontail information.

METABOLISM (TEMPERATURE): --

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM (RESPIRATION): --

CIRCULATORY SYSTEM (PULSE/HEART RATE): --

GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM (FAECES AND GUT MOTILITY):

General Information

  • Lagomorphs have digestive systems which are adapted for processing large quantities of vegetation. (B285.w5a)
  • Lagomorphs are well adapted for obtaining the greatest possible value from their food. They produce two types of fecal material: moist pellets and dry pellets. The moist pellets are expelled and then eaten (a behaviour known as coprophagy (B285.w5a)); this is done with little or no chewing, and as a result the majority of the food passes through the digestive tract twice (this is thought to have the same function as 'chewing the cud' in ruminants). The dry pellets are not eaten. (B147)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Faces variable in colour, including red and grey. Mean size 9 x 8 mm and weighing 1.2 mg. (J469.153.w1)
  • These are deposited in piles along active runways in marsh areas, and in smaller piles on stumps or logs in "hummock" areas. (J469.153.w1)

URINARY SYSTEM (URINE): --

CHROMOSOMES:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information 

MUSCULO-SKELETAL SYSTEM: --

SPECIAL SENSES AND VOCALISATIONS:

General Information

  • All lagomorphs use scent products secreted from special glands. (B285.w5a) These glands are located under the chins and in the groin, and are believed to play a key role in sexual communication, as well as in signalling social status in some gregarious species. (B285.w5b)
  • Whereas pikas tend to be more vocal, rabbits and hares rely strongly on scent rather than sound as a means of communication. (B285.w5b)
  • High-pitched distress squeals are emitted by leporids when captured by a predator, and specific alarm calls are produced in five rabbit species. (B285.w5b, B430.w2)
  • Some rabbit species thump the ground with their hind feet when faced with danger (B285.w5b, B430.w2); this reaction is thought to be a warning to nestlings underground. (B285.w5b)
  • The conspicuous white underside present on the tails of some rabbit species can act as a visual warning to other individuals when fleeing from a predator. These species tend to be found in more open habitats. (B285.w5b)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information

  • Rarely vocalise. (B285.w5c)
  • "Several species utter squeals and high-pitched calls of distress." (B147)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Excellent hearing. (J469.153.w1)
  • Very good detection of movement. (J469.153.w1)
  • Cries have been heard often. Squeals when held. (J469.153.w1)

Return to top of page

Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Notes

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information
  • "Very little is known about marsh rabbit biology and ecology." (B605.5.w5)

General Information

  • Lagomorphs are well adapted for obtaining the greatest possible value from their food. They produce two types of fecal material: moist pellets and dry pellets. The moist pellets are expelled and then eaten; this is done with little or no chewing, and as a result the majority of the food passes through the digestive tract twice (this is thought toe have the same function as 'chewing the cud' in ruminants). The dry pellets are not eaten. (B147)

Return to top of page

Parental Behaviour

Notes

Note: There is very little data specific to this species so the details below are from general leporid and cottontail information.

General Information

  • Male leporids are not generally involved in care of the young. However, if adult females attack young leporids, males will intervene, a behaviour known as 'policing'. (B285.w5b)
  • Even maternal care of the young is not particularly prominent in leporids, hence this reproductive strategy is known as 'absentee parentism'. (B285.w5a)
  • Leporids demonstrate an unusual system of nursing; the young are suckled only briefly (often less than five minutes) just once every 24 hours. (B285.w5b)
  • It is thought that the lack of social contact between the mother and her young is a strategy which diminishes the chances of attracting the attention of predators. (B285.w5b)
  • The entrances to breeding tunnels are carefully re-sealed following each bout of suckling (B285.w5b)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • The female does not herself live in the nest. To feed the young she crouches over the nest, the kits climbing to the top of the nest to nurse. (B147)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Create nests for their young, from soft grass and fur. the young can exit from all sides of the nest. (J469.153.w1)

Return to top of page

Social Behaviour / Territoriality / Predation / Learning

Notes

  • "Very little is known about marsh rabbit biology and ecology." (B605.5.w5)
SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR:

General Information

  • Most North American leporid species are solitary, but congregations of these animals often occur in favoured feeding grounds. (B430.w2)
  • Rabbits are solitary to gregarious. (B430.w2)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • Most species within this genus are solitary. (B147)
  • May chase off other individuals if they approach too closely. (B147)
  • "Not colonial, but some species form social hierarchies in breeding groups." (B285.w5c)
  • "Cottontail behavior is stereotyped and fairly consistent with other rabbit species." (B605.5.w5)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Deposit faeces in piles along active runways in marsh areas, and in smaller piles on stumps or logs in "hummock" areas. (J469.153.w1)
  • Will bite or slap conspecifics in defence (seen when penned). (J469.153.w1)
  • Both males and females seen to fight each other. (J469.153.w1)
PREDATION: 

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

Predator Avoidance

General Information

  • Rabbits use dense cover to hide from predators. (B285.w5b)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • When under threat from a predator, cottontails sit completely still and remain quiet, even when closely approached. They are capable of staying like this for 15 minutes if necessary. (B147)
POPULATION DENSITIES

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • "Population levels vary markedly between species and from year to year, depending on climate, habitat type and other factors." (B605.5.w5)
  • Cottontails tend to be cyclic in abundance. (B605.5.w5)
  • "Habitat is the key to cottontail abundance." (B605.5.w5)
    • Desert species: normal densities are thought to be less than one rabbit per hectare. (B605.5.w5)
HOME RANGES AND DISTANCES TRAVELLED

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • The home ranges of females are generally smaller than those of males. (B147)
  • These species have stable home ranges of a few hectares which overlap. (B285.w5c)
TERRITORIALITY

General Information

  • Ranges of individuals may overlap in favoured feeding grounds. (B285.w5b)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • Not territorial. (B285.w5c)

Return to top of page

Sexual Behaviour

Notes

Note: There is very little data specific to this species so the details below are from general lagomorph and cottontail information.

General Information

  • All lagomorphs use scent products secreted from special glands. (B285.w5a) These glands are located under the chins and in the groin, and are believed to play a key role in sexual communication, as well as in signalling social status in some gregarious species. (B285.w5b)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • "Several males may come together during the breeding season and pursue an estrous female." (B147)

Return to top of page

Activity Patterns, Self-grooming and Navigation

Notes

Note: There is very little data specific to this species so the details below are from general leporid and cottontail information.

ACTIVITY PATTERNS:
  • All the lagomorphs are terrestrial. (B147)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • Active year-round. (B147)
    • The majority of species move by characteristic bunny hopping. (B147)
    • It is thought that all species are capable of swimming. (B147)

    Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

    • This species tends to walk rather than hop. (B147, B605.5.w5)
    • This species is a strong swimmer. (B147, B285.w5c, B430.w2, B605.5.w5)
    • This species swims with an alternate paddling motion. (B430.w2)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • This species tends to walk rather than hop. (B147, B605.5.w5)
  • This species is a strong swimmer. (B147, B285.w5c, B430.w2, B605.5.w5)
  • This species swims with an alternate paddling motion. (B430.w2)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • This species tends to walk rather than hop, especially on soft sand. (B147, B605.5.w5, J469.153.w1)
  • This species is a strong swimmer. (B147, B285.w5c, B430.w2, B605.5.w5)
  • They appear to enjoy swimming in warm water. (J469.153.w1)
  • This species swims with an alternate paddling motion. (B430.w2, J469.153.w1)
  • Use their long toenails to dig holes. (J469.153.w1)
SELF-GROOMING: --
CIRCADIAN RHYTHM:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Most active at night. (B430.w2)
  • Primarily nocturnal, active 1900 - 0400 and (captive data) feeding mainly at night. (J469.153.w1)
  • Nocturnal. (B605.5.w5)
  • Feeds at mainly at dusk. (B430.w2)
  • Rests in a form during the day. (B605.5.w5, J469.153.w1)
SPEED OF MOVEMENT:

General Information

  • The North American leporids are able to escape predators by taking instant flight at high speed. (B430.w2)
NAVIGATION: --

Return to top of page

Habitat and Range

General Habitat Type

Notes

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information
  • Coastal lowlands. (B605.5.w5, B607.w20)
  • Restricted to marshy habitats. (B147, B430.w2, B605.5.w5, J469.153.w1)
  • This species is limited by the availability of water. (B147, B605.5.w5, J469.153.w1)
  • This species is not found at elevations exceeding 152 m (500 ft). (B430.w2)
  • This species can be found around freshwater marshes, but tends to be associated with brackish water. (B430.w2, B605.5.w5)
  • It can be found in raised "hummocks" in marshes which feature the following trees and shrubs:
    • Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora).
    • Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatic).
    • Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua).
    • Blackberry and dewberry (Rubus spp.).

    (B430.w2, J469.153.w1)

  • Usually found around cattails (Typha). (B430.w2, B605.5.w5)
  • "A key habitat component for this species is pooled water." (B430.w2)

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • The presence of escape cover is an essential habitat requirement for these species. (B605.5.w5)

Return to top of page

Nests / Burrows / Shelters

Notes

Sylvilagus spp. General Information:

  • Cottontails are not thought to dig burrows. (B147)
  • Some species are known to make use of burrows made by other animals. (B147)
  • Also take shelter in brush piles and forms. (B147)
  • Several forms may be connected by flattened trails made through regular use of pathways. (B147)
  • "All species occupy burrows made by other animals or inhabit available shelter or hide in vegetation." (B285.w5c)
  • The females of most species of Sylvilagus dig nest holes, about 100 - 150 mm deep and 120 mm wide; sometimes slanted, and both lined and covered with soft plant fibres and the female's own fur, which she plucks from her underside.  (B147)
  • The female does not herself live in the nest. To feed the young she crouches over the nest, the kits climbing to the top of the nest to nurse. (B147)

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Rests in a form during the day. (B605.5.w5)
  • Nests are usually located on the water's edge among sedges and are made of soft grass and rabbit fur. (B430.w2)
  • Females create nests for their young, from soft grass and fur. Nests have been found among burnt sedges about 30 ft (9 m) from the water's edge, and were about 36 cm (14 inches) across and 20 cm (8 in) deep. The floor of the nest was about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick, also from soft grass and fur. (J469.153.w1)
  • Dig holes (but not burrows) about 30 cm (12 inches) deep, at a 60 degree slope. (J469.153.w1)

Return to top of page

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Notes

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information
  • From Florida to southeastern Virginia. (B51, B605.5.w5, B607.w20)
  • Found in Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia, in coastal lowlands. (B605.5.w5, B607.w20)
  • From the Florida Keys to southern Virginia on the coastal plain. (B285.w5c)
  • Range extends from the Dismal Swamp of Virginia south through southern Georgia, into northern Florida, and west to Mobile Bay, Alabama. (B430.w2, J469.153.w1)
  • The Marsh rabbit is not found at elevations exceeding 152 m (500 ft). (B430.w2) rarely at elevations over 152 m (500 ft). (J469.153.w1)
  • Sylvilagus palustris hefneri - "...confined to the type locality in Monroe Country on the Florida Keys." (B430.w2)
  • Sylvilagus palustris paludicola - "...peninsular Florida from about Gainesville south." (B430.w2)
  • Sylvilagus palustris palustris - "...coastal plain and lowlands east of the Appalachian Mountains from north Hampton County, Virginia, south through eastern North and South Carolina, Georgia, southern Mississippi, and northern Florida." (B430.w2)
  • Southeastern Virginia to southern Alabama and Florida. (B147)

Return to top of page

Conservation

Species variation

Notes

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information
Currently recognised subspecies include:
  • Sylvilagus palustris palustris. (B430.w2, B605.5.w5, B607.w20, including Sylvilagus palustris douglasii. (B607.w20)
  • Sylvilagus palustris hefneri. (B607.w20)
  • Sylvilagus palustris paludicola. (B607.w20)

Return to top of page

Conservation Status

Notes

WILD POPULATION - IMPORTANCE:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • "Common, except for the Florida Keys marsh rabbit, which is considered an endangered subspecies." (B430.w2)
  • The subspecies Sylvilagus palustris hefneri has disappeared from areas in which it was originally found. Thought to be only a few hundred individuals remaining, found in small, scattered colonies. (B147)

GENERAL LEGISLATION:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) - Endangered (as Sylvilagus palustris hefneri). (B607.w20)
  • USDI - Endangered. (B147)

CITES LISTING: --

RED-DATA LIST STATUS:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • IUCN - Lower Risk (least concern). (W2.Apr08.w87)
  • IUCN - Endangered as Sylvilagus palustris hefneri. (B607.w20)

THREATS:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • Hunting, environmental disturbance and human settlement are all threats to the endangered subspecies Sylvilagus palustris hefneri. (B147)

PEST STATUS / PEST POPULATIONS:

Specific Sylvilagus palustris Information

  • In some agricultural settings, this species is considered to be a pest. (B605.5.w5)

CAPTIVE POPULATIONS: --

TRADE AND USE: --

Return to top of page