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Common Name: Rabbit Scientific Name: Ortyctolagus cuniculus

GLOBALLY COMMON Rabbit Distribution: Worldwide

Habitat: Various

Height: Approx. 35cm

Weight: 1kg -2.5kg

Diet: Herbivorous

The ancestor of all domestic rabbits is the European rabbit. This species has become so prevalent in many areas that it has become a pest. They first came to the UK in the 12th Century as a source of meat and fur. Since then they have established a successful wild population and have become a very popular pet species. Wild rabbits have brown fur with a white flash on the underside of the tail. Pet rabbits have been bred to express several different colours varying from black to snowy white. Rabbits are widespread in western Europe, including the Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and the British Isles. They are also found in North Africa and have been introduced to Australia, New Zealand and North and South America. They inhabit a variety of habitats including open meadow, grassland and woodland. Rabbits eat lots of different types of vegetation including leaves, grasses, bulbs and bark. They dig tunnels to live in called a warren. These tunnels can link into a complex system which can be over 2 metres long. At the end of the tunnels the rabbits make chambers that they line with sift substances such as grass, moss and fur. Rabbits are prolific breeders as the gestation period (pregnancy) is only 30 days after which they are ready to mate again. They have litters of up to 12 ‘kittens’.