• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Desert Cottontail

Desert Cottontail - Sylviagus audubonii
Desert Cottontail - Sylviagus audubonii
NPS Photo by Don and Pat Valenti
 

Class

Mammalia
Order Lagomorpha
Family

Leporidae (long ears, long hind legs, short cottony tail).

Genus Sylviagus
Species audubonii
Name/
History
Desert cottontail
Size
Weight (lbs)

Male
1.4-2.75

Female
1.4-2.75

Young
1.2-2 oz

Height (in)

12-15

12-15

Ear (in) 3-4
Mate March-September (varies with area)
Gestation 1 month
Birth April-October born blind
# young 2-6
Age 2 years
Habitat/
Range

Open plains, foothills, low valley, grass, sage, brush. Found from the Rocky Mountain states south to Mexico.

Food Herbs, forbs, grasses
Predators Coyote, badger, skunk, eagles, bobcat, raccoon, hawk, rattlesnake
Disease Ticks, leptospirosis
Communication Death screams, foot pounding
Behavior/
Characteristics

It has a larger body size, bigger ears, and grayer fur than cottontails.



Did You Know?

fire on the prairie

Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.