So, here is part 1 of 3 of the "best" from the 2015 season at the Mono County pygmy rabbit colony that I began monitoring in 2014.
This post is April to June 2015, part 2 will cover the rabbits in July to October, and the finale will show the other sympatric species that live in and visited the pygmy's burrows.
The adage "April showers bring May flowers" was in good effect in 2015 in the western Great Basin, which defied the drought by catching east-traveling storms as they were diverted over the Sierra Nevada by high pressure ridging in the Pacific Ocean.
And that moist, mild spring carried well into summer, allowing the sagebrush and rabbitbrush to explode with lush growth. Which I'm sure the bunnies enjoyed thoroughly.
Pygmy rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis, emerging from its burrow after an April storm
My inspection of the full resolution photos for details such as scars and ear notches suggests the burrow cluster is still occupied by the same 2 adult pygmy rabbits as in 2014.
Pygmy rabbit on a foggy morning
The one I think might be a male spent the most time hanging around the burrow entrance, and would even pop out in the middle of the night on occasion.
Pygmy out "listening to the dark" at 10pm
Pygmy out and about at 1am
Several times the pygmies did a bit of burrow digging. In this case after a mid-June thunderstorm. Also note all the fresh greenery on the sagebrush in the background.
Pygmy rabbit digging at its burrow
But often they just hung around and enjoyed the mild spring and summer on the sage steppe.
Pygmy rabbit hunkered down on a cold morning in late June
Next post - July to October.
- Nature Conservancy Magazine - Cool Green Science - Pygmy Bunnies on the Brink
- Nature of a Man (this blog) - Pygmy Rabbitat Round-up
- Nature of a Man (this blog) - Dust-Bathing Beauties
- Nature of a Man (this blog) - Jealous Jacks
- Nature of a Man (this blog) - I Brake for Brachys
- Nature of a Man (this blog) - Splitting Hares
- Nature of a Man (this blog) - Pygmies of the Great Basin
- Eveline Séquin Larrucea, University of Nevada Reno - Distribution, Behavior, and Habitat Preferences of the Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) in Nevada and California
- Joye Harold Severaid, Journal of Mammalogy, vol 31, February 1950 - The Pigmy Rabbit (Sylvilagus idahoensis) in Mono County, California
- E. W. Jameson, Jr., and Hans J. Peeters, UCPress - Mammals of California
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Species Profile for Pygmy Rabbit
- Douglas A. Keinath and Matthew McGee - Species Assessment for Pygmy Rabbit in Wyoming prepared for the Bureau of Land Management
- Wikipedia - Pygmy rabbit