THIS HOPPER'S NOT HAPPY!
THE RIVERINE RABBIT
According to a Chinese proverb, the crafty rabbit has three different entrances to his lair. I guess this would ensure its survival in case a predator came to snatch him up. Well, the Riverine Rabbit does not seem to have done well in the survival game. Indigenous to South Africa, this species of rabbit was declared critically endangered in 2003. According to ARKive.org, there are estimated to be only 250 mature Riverine Rabbits left in the wild.
Let’s hope we find a way to protect these rabbits before they disappear completely.
Meet the Riverine Rabbit!
Photo credit: Toy Camacho - http://arkive.org
The Riverine Rabbit lives in the Karoo Desert of South Africa. The Karoo is a vast semi desert covering more than 100,000 miles. There are seven national parks within the Karoo, but it is difficult to manage due to the fact that it is spread across four of South Arica’s provinces.
The beautiful, semi desert known as the Karoo.
Photo credit: http://www.gondwana-collection.com/home/attractions/succulent-karoo-desert/succulent-karoo-desert-images/
The vegetation in which the Riverine Rabbit would build its burrows has been diminished and the population of the rabbit has therefore declined along with it. Not only do they not have a place to make their homes and breed, their ability to hide from predators in the vegetation has made them easy targets. Finally, domestic animals are eating the natural vegetation as well, and the farmers have developed a taste for the Riverine Rabbit.
The Riverine Rabbit weighs approximately two and one-half pounds and is approximately fifteen inches long from head to tail. The ears are long, approximately 5 inches, and they are very movable. There is a distinguishing stripe that runs from their mouths to the base of their ears.
They are nocturnal. To avoid predators, they rest during the day in shallow indentations in the soil, which they build beneath shrubs and brush. They live a very solitary life, feeding on wild flowers and leaves from the vegetation growing along the rivers of the Karoo Desert.
Unfortunately, there are no protected areas for the Riverine Rabbit. However, The Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Riverine Rabbit Work Group was established in 2003. They are working toward establishing a conservation area in the Karoo that will support the species.
Thank you for stopping by to visit with this critically endangered rabbit. Please share with your friends and family, and plan to stop by again next week.
My sincere thanks to Arkive.org and EdgeofExistence.org, for the information and their efforts to bring a spotlight to many of the planets endangered animals.
Jeanne E. Rogers, Author of the Award Winning Middle Grade Fantasy
The Sword of Demelza, Where Endangered Animals Roam the Pages!