A Talk on the Wild Side.
While this rare rabbit looks a lot like the ones you’ve seen outdoors, the New England cottontail is found only in the thick tangles and vines of just five spots across New England and New York.
Baby rabbits snuggle together at the captive breeding program at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island. (Photo: Lou Perrotti/Roger Williams Park Zoo)
Cottontails depend on a special type of habitat -- young forest and shrublands -- which also provides food, shelter and places to raise young for a variety of other animals.
They've lost 86 percent of their historic range since the 1960s, and they're even a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
State, federal, local and private partners are following a strategic plan and working together to bring the rabbit back and to create the young forest and shrubland habitat that it depends on. The strategy depends on the help of private landowners in communities across the region, since much of the land targeted for habitat restoration is privately owned.
Here’s a shout-out to some of the folks working to save the New England cottontail:
One day, we hope the New England cottontail will once again be common across its namesake!