Where the Wild Rabbits Go

With the anticipated winter storm Juno, naturally, the first thing that came to mind was, What’s going to happen to all of the wild rabbits (as well as other wild animals)? The harsh cold, wind, and snow will surely put a damper on all wildlife right?

Fortunately, wild rabbits are adapted to live in this type of environment. To sort of put my mind at ease I decided to do some research on what happens to wild rabbits when a storm strikes and how they survive.

Where Do Rabbits Live?

Rabbits live in a wide range of different areas such as meadows and grasslands but they usually dig up burrows under the ground. Burrows are safe spots for them to live in such ways as they provide warmth, protection, and a place to rest. These borrows are also called warrens or dens.They provide a nice source of warmth for the rabbits so they don’t freeze. Rabbits also have nests which they fill with grass and straw that works as a perfect insulator, trapping the rabbit’s body heat and thus maintaining its body temperature in the normal range. They exit these burrows when it’s time to forage for food. They appear aboveground around dawn or dusk when the weather is milder.

Fun fact: a rabbit can withstand the cold weather much better than it can the stress of extreme heat

What Do Rabbits Eat?

Rabbits will eat shrubs, berries, bark, twigs, vegetables they find in gardens, and grass. Their droppings also provides a significant amount of nutrients to keep them healthy. These aren’t the kind of droppings you’d commonly see scattered along your backyard either. They are called cecotropes and if they do not eat them they can become malnourished.

What is the Survival Rate?

It may be that rabbits born every spring have a much higher survival rate because of abundant resources and fewer predators, which could result in the greater densities that we see. When the winter rolls around the now abundant rabbits are limited by food availability, and rabbit numbers decline until spring comes around again (lpzoo.org).

Fun fact: a rabbit’s fur coat thickens during the winter to keep them warm

If you see a wild rabbit outside in the winter time, it is usually because they are going from one place to another to find food or refuge. Help out by leaving some carrot tops, lettuce, or other greens out onto your lawn!

Here’s to hoping for a safe, warm, and stress-free winter for all of the wild rabbits (and other animals) outside!

A wild rabbit with snow on its fur.

 

Advertisements

What'd ya think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s