Nuttall's Cottontail

Sylvilagus nuttallii

Status

Special Concern (Federal)
Red List (Provincial)

Description

The Nuttall's Cottontail (also called Mountain Cottontail) ranges from 33 to 40 cm in length and has a short fluffy white tail. Its ears are tipped with black and have dense, white fur on the inside. It is mostly grey-brown all over and has a white belly. The back legs are long and the feet are almost completely white. Cottontails do not change color in the winter.

Habitat

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This species prefers habitats that offer cover with a nearby food supply. This is particularly important during the winter because this rabbit does not moult into a lighter coat. They are often found on slopes and ridges with thick sagebrush, washes below sage covered slopes, and sometimes in coniferous forests. These rabbits will often prepare nests for their young in rocky crevices, abandoned burrows, and under barns and sheds.

Threats

-Habitat loss due to agricultural development and urbanization
-Intensive livestock grazing
-Rodenticide use
-Flooding of lowlands for dam construction
-Predation by domestic and feral pets

You Can Help!

-Reduce livestock grazing or practice best management practices for grazing
-Protect and conserve wildlife habitat
-Support natural predators to control rabbit populations rather than trapping or using rodenticides
-Do not allow dogs to chase rabbits
-Keep pet cats inside or strongly limit their outdoor time

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