The pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), the world's smallest rabbit, has a limited distribution due to its year round dependence on sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) for food and shelter. Due to accelerating habitat loss from fragmentation, development, and fire, understanding the pygmy rabbit's ecology has become increasingly important. In 2010, we initiated a study of the status of a pygmy rabbit population and its habitat requirements on U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land near Woodruff in northeastern Utah. We first observed and recorded the presence of the rabbit and its use of the area, and then measured sagebrush height, density, cover, and major and minor crown widths at active burrow and potential burrow sites. We also compared understory characteristics and soil texture at active, recently abandoned, and potential burrow sites. Pellets and sagebrush samples were also analyzed to determine dietary patterns. The height, as well as the major and minor crown widths of the sagebrush, and 2 cover measurements were significantly greater at active burrow sites than at potential burrow sites (P
Authors and Publishers
The mission of Brigham Young University — founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life. That assistance should provide a period of intensive learning in a stimulating setting where a commitment to excellence is expected and the full realization of human potential is pursued.