Sagebrush habitat key to survival.
Watch a short video about the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s pygmy rabbit research project in parts of eastern Oregon. This project is part of a larger study on hares and rabbits.
Scientists are trying to better understand pygmy rabbit distribution and abundance in sagebrush country as well as population dynamics and the effects of fragmented habitat. Roads and other development can impact pygmy rabbit movement across the landscape.
Pygmy rabbits use tall, dense clumps of basin big sagebrush where they find deep, loose soils for digging burrows near native grasses for summer forage. Habitat loss is a major issue for the long-term survival of the species. Pygmy rabbits in Oregon are patchily distributed and susceptible to local declines caused by wildfire for example. Data from ongoing research may help manage pygmy rabbit and conserve Great Basin’s big sagebrush habitat.
Read more stories from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, here.