Nuttall's cottontail, Mountain cottontail, Nuttall's cottontail
The mountain cottontail or Nuttall's cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii ) is a species of mammal in the family Leporidae. It is found in Canada and the United States.
Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (that is, the periods of dawn and dusk). This is distinguished from diurnal...
Coprophage animals are those that consume feces. Domesticated and wild mammals are sometimes coprophagic, and in some species, this forms an essent...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a graminivore (not to be confused with a granivore) is an herbivorous animal that feeds primarily on grass. Graminivory is a form of g...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Jumping (saltation) can be distinguished from running, galloping, and other gaits where the entire body is temporarily airborne by the relatively l...
Congregatory animals tend to gather in large numbers in specific areas as breeding colonies, for feeding, or for resting.
Grazing is a method of feeding in which a herbivore feeds on plants such as grasses, or other multicellular organisms such as algae. In agriculture...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Generally solitary animals are those animals that spend their time separately but will gather at foraging areas or sleep in the same location or sh...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Mountain cottontail is a small rabbit found in North America. It has pale brown fur on the back, a distinct pale brown nape on the back of the head, black-tipped ears, a white-grey tail, and a white underside. Its feet are densely covered with long hair. Ears are relatively short and rounded at the tips; the inner surfaces are noticeably haired.
Mountain cottontails range from just above the Canada-US border south to Arizona and New Mexico, and from the foothills of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains and west to the eastern slopes of the Cascade-Sierra Nevada. They have a large east-to-west range from the state of South Dakota to California. These animals inhabit forested and shrubby areas covered with grasses and sagebrush. On a rocky mountainside where vegetation is sparse, they shelter in burrows or rock crevices.
Mountain cottontails are not social and spend most of their time singly but congregations occur on popular feeding grounds. They usually feed at dusk and dawn in clearings near cover or in the brush. Mountain cottontails may even climb juniper trees to feed. Although they are not territorial the males typically have a larger home range than females. Mountain cottontails don’t hibernate and remain active all year. When spooked they will run a couple of meters then hide and freeze with ears erect, if further pursued they will hop away in a semicircular path to try and trick the predator.
Mountain cottontails are herbivores (graminivores) and coprophages. Their diet mainly consists of sagebrush and varies toward grasses during the spring and summer seasons. It is made up of various types of grass such as wheatgrasses, needle-and-thread, Indian ricegrass, cheatgrass brome, bluegrasses, and bottlebrush squirreltail. Mountain cottontails also commonly eat juniper and when food sources become more limited in the winter months their diet may turn to more woody plant parts such as bark and twigs.
The breeding season of Mountain cottontails varies with location; it typically occurs during the spring and summer seasons, through February to July, and possibly later in warmer climates. Their nest is a cup-like cavity lined with fur and dried grass. The top of the nest is covered with fur, grass, and small sticks, probably placed there by the female. Mountain cottontails are highly reproductive and raise around 2-5 litters per year. Each litter contains on average 4-6 kits per litter. The gestation period typically lasts 28-30 days. The young are born with no hair and their eyes closed. Weaning typically occurs after one month of birth and they begin to breed at 3 months of age or later than that.
The Mountain cottontail is not considered to be threatened at present.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Mountain cottontail total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.