Cottontail Rabbit

Cottontail Rabbit

(Sylvilagus floridanus)

Conservation status:

Least Concern

Origin:

North America, Central America and South America

Lifespan:

Average lifespan is about 2 years.

Size:

Adult size is 14 to 19 inches and weighs 2 to 3 lbs.

Females tend to be larger than males.

Diet:

Herbivore

Grasses and herbs.

Activity:

Crepuscular

Most active during dawn and dusk.

Reproduction:

Breeding season is from February to September.

The nest is a shallow hole that is filled with fur and grass.

Gestation lasts 28 days. The average litter size is 3 to 4 young, called kits.

The young are born without fur and are blind and deaf.

A female rabbit can have one to seven litters a year.

Females don’t stay at the nest. They return to the nest once or twice a day to nurse.

Eyes begin to open in 4 to 7 days. The young take short trips out of the nest by 12 to 16 days.

They are weaned and independent by 4 to 5 weeks of age.

Extra Facts:

Rabbits have a high mortality, the death rate is up to 80% a year.

Rabbits can run up to 18 miles per hour.

Cottontail bunnies remain feral rather than become tame, like our domesticated bunnies.

Many rabbits produce two types of poo. One to be re-ingested and the other is a product of the droppings be more thoroughly digested.