Like all rabbit species, marsh rabbits are completely herbivorous. Normally, marsh rabbits are restricted to relatively undisturbed wetlands. 1985). Because they occupy aquatic habitats, marsh rabbits are not typically susceptible to overharvest. They can be found from fresh and brackish marshes to wet prairies and flooded fields. Normal hiding spots include dense thickets of magnolia, black-gum, sweet-gum, briers, and cattails. Habitat. Population Status Marsh Rabbit, a semi-aquatic mammal found in Virginia. Habitat and Diet These rabbits seek out habitat on the fringes of open spaces, such as fields, meadows, and farms, but can adapt to other habitats—including those of humans. You can distinguish a marsh rabbit by its smaller head, ears and feet and its small gray tail that is dark underneath. Swamp rabbits are found in the Gulf Coast and south-central region of the United States. Unlike other rabbits, their distribution is determined by the availability of water. Unlike other Sylvilagus, this species is confined solely to marshy habitats. Reproduction is similar to that of the eastern cottontail. Also, marsh rabbits have been reported to breed year-round in other states. Bob Glennon is a private lands biologist serving clients of the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in southeastern Virginia. Photo courtesy Ginger Allen, Florida Master Naturalist Program. The marsh rice rat is also adapted to the salt marsh habitat (Webster et al. Marsh rabbit habitat Mainland marsh rabbits from Dismal swamp lives within the regions along the eastern coast to Florida’s northern areas and meandering through the Gulf Coast into Mobile Bay, Alabama. The legs and ears of the marsh rabbit are shorter. Conservation efforts have been made to reintroduce some species of marsh rabbits to … Management for this species includes protecting its habitat and establishing new habitat through wetland restoration. Other rabbits thrive in marshes and wetlands. While originally from Europe and Africa, rabbits are now found all over the world. Habitat: The marsh rabbit is found throughout Florida. In general, other subspecies of S. palustrisare typically found in saltmarsh areas of slightly higher elevation, such as ridges or islands. The marsh rabbit consumes a variety of aquatic plants including marsh grass, cattail, rushes, water hyacinths, marsh pennywort, duck potato, and amaryllis. Marsh rabbit. As the name indicates, the seemingly fragile animal inhabits the Florida Keys, in the United States, in North America. They are nocturnal and solitary, but individuals may be seen gathered together in areas that have plenty of resources. The gray desert rabbit resembles cottontails, but it has larger ears, and it adapted in living in extreme temperatures. In Virginia, they are found in several counties in the extreme southeastern portion of the state. As its name suggests, the marsh rabbit is found only in marshy habitats, where water is plentiful. Like other rabbits, the marsh rabbit has two pairs of upper incisor teeth. Habitat: The marsh rabbit commonly inhabits brackish and freshwater marshes, mainly of cattails and cypress. His clients’ principle interests are establishing and managing habitat for quail, rabbits, songbirds, and pollinating insects. There is also a species called swamp rabbits ( Sylvilagus aquaticus ), but they the largest species of rabbit in the Southeast and weight between 4 and 6.5 pounds. Interestingly, the marsh rabbit is an excellent swimmer and often dives into water as a means of escape. The rabbits are often found near water and in … Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, See a full list of our Social Media accounts. Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) (Public domain.) HABITAT: Marsh rabbits are strong swimmers and usually found close to water. Breeding occurs year-round but peaks December through June. The wonderful Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit apparently never had a large range to begin with. The researchers analyzed aerial photographs from 1959 (when the rabbit was still plentiful) and 2006 and were able to show a 64 percent net loss of the marsh rabbit’s habitat — 48 percent of it due to sea level rise, said McCleery, a faculty member with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Marsh Rabbit : Sylvilagus palustris Photo Barry Mansell ©. © 2020 Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. Marsh rabbits eat a variety of plants found in and around wetlands. Marsh rabbits also have sparse amounts of fur and have long toenails on their hind feet. This species primarily occurs in the grassy marshes and prairies of the Lower Keys… The peninsular region of Florida, from South of Florida to the upper Keys, is occupied by Florida marsh rabbit. Lower Keys rabbits inhabit higher elevation levels around fresh and salt water marshes. Their diet also consists of blackberry, greenbrier, and other woody and semi-woody plants. Posted on August 11, 2020 | Leave a comment. They set up camp in a broad assortment of habitats, including woodlands, agricultural sites, sand dunes, deserts, mountains, shrublands, forests, grasslands, marshes and rainforests. The Lower Keys marsh rabbit is habitat specific, depending upon a transition zone of grasses and sedges for feeding, shelter, and nesting. 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