New York

New England Cottontail Rabbit – Sylvilagus transitionalis

  • Status – Vulnerable
  • Estimated numbers – 16,690
  • Population trend – Decreasing
  • Location – The New England cottontail lives in parts of New England and New York state. Over the last 50 years the range of this once-common rabbit has shrunk and its population dwindled. Today the New England cottontail is restricted to southern Maine, southern New Hampshire, and parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York east of the Hudson River – less than a fifth of its range in the early 1900s.
  • Why are they under threat – A critical threat is the loss of habitat – places where rabbits can find food, rear young and escape predators. Development has taken much land once inhabited by cottontails and other wildlife. Thousands of acres that used to be young forest, ideal cottontail habitat, have grown up into middle-aged and older woods, where rabbits don’t generally live.
  • What can you do – In states where the species is considered endangered, the Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies can draw up Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances, or CCAAs, that let private landowners use their land and gain income from it whilst voluntarily creating habitat. Go to New England Cotton Tail for more information on how you can help.
  • Species foundation – www.newenglandcottontail.org

Image: @zurbaran1

Image: Raphael Gonzalez

photo credit - louis masai

Image: Tee Byford

Image: Raphael Gonzalez

Image: Raphael Gonzalez

Image: Raphael Gonzalez

Image: Emil Walker

Image: Emil Walker

Image: Tee Byford

© Louis Masai 2016