Species of Concern
Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis)
Wyoming Distribution by County
Carbon, Fremont, Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater, Uinta
In January of 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated a status review for the pygmy rabbit (73 FR 1312). The purpose of the status review is to determine whether the pygmy rabbit warrants listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C 1531 et seq.). Conversion of sagebrush grasslands, habitat fragmentation, fire, invasive plants, and overgrazing are considered potential threats to pygmy rabbits.
The pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) is the smallest member of the Leporidae (rabbit) family and it occurs in portions of many western states including southwestern Wyoming. Pygmy rabbits are sagebrush obligate species that are primarily found in areas with deep soils that support dense big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities, often where other species of sagebrush and forbs occur as well. Conversion of sagebrush grasslands, habitat fragmentation, fire, invasive plants, and overgrazing are considered potential threats to pygmy rabbits. We encourage planners to analyze project areas for potential effects to pygmy rabbits and their habitats. Project planning measures that retain large tracts of suitable habitat and corridors to adjacent habitat will aid in the conservation of this species.