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  • The eastern cottontail is the most common type of wild rabbits in the United States.

  • Rabbits can be found in many different types of habitats including the desert.

  • Wild bunnies do not usually make good pets. (Domestic ones do.)

  • A nest of newborns may look abandoned even when it is not. Newborn kittens are usually only fed by their mother for a couple of minutes each day.

  • Although they have several resemblances, wild rabbits are not rodents.

  • Rabbits vary widely in color depending on the climate where they live. Camouflage and running speed are their primary defenses.

Rabbits are generally found in brushy hedgerows and along the edges of wooded areas with dense cover, but they also do very well in suburban and urban areas, where lawns, gardens and shrubs meet their habitat requirements. Besides the plants essential to their diet, rabbits need safe resting places and cover in which to escape from predators.

Rabbit damage is almost always the results of feeding activities. Rabbits eat flowers and vegetable plants in spring and summer and the bark of fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs in fall and winter.

Given the many predators who make meals of rabbits, their populations can rise and fall dramatically over the course of a year. Sometimes, by doing nothing about their presence and letting nature take its own course, the homeowner sees the same result as would come from investing a lot of time and resources in hiring a service to conduct rabbit “control.”

The most effective protection from rabbit damage is a well-constructed fence. Chicken wire supported by posts every six to eight feet is strong enough to exclude rabbits. Fences normally need to be only about two feet high. It is important to make sure that the bottom is staked securely to the ground to prevent rabbits from pushing their way underneath it.

New plantings can be protected by placing over them plastic jugs that have had the bottoms cut off. This doubles as frost protection, too.

Excerpts from Wild Neighbors: The Humane Approach To Living with Wildlife, published by The Humane Society of the United States. You can purchase a copy HERE...

 

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