Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii)
This species is also known as the Audubon’s cottontail and is our most abundant rabbit, occurring in a wide variety of habitats below 6,000 feet elevation. It is a long-legged cottontail with short fur and a preference for foraging in the open areas of grasslands and scrub vegetation. In our area, it overlaps with the brush rabbit (S. bachmani), but this species is much smaller, has more pointed ears, and stays mostly hidden in dense brush. Audubon’s cottontail adults only live about two years, but they have multiple litters throughout the year, with up to six young per litter. If given the chance, I know this species will decimate your garden and are therefore, not well liked. However, I always enjoy watching them in our back canyon, and I find their young absolutely adorable!