Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit research at Sagebrush Flats
The pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) is the smallest rabbit in North America. It digs its own burrows, using the deep loamy soils of habitat dominated by sagebrush, which also makes up most of its diet.

The pygmy rabbit historical range includes portions of the following states: California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Washington. In 1993 the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) listed the species as state endangered. On March 5, 2003, the Columbia Basin Distinct Population Segment of the pygmy rabbit was listed as federally endangered in the state of Washington by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Since 2011, recovery efforts have included translocating wild pygmy rabbits from other states to large semi-wild breeding enclosures in northcentral Washington and releasing offspring into nearby suitable habitat.

On October 25, 2015, USFWS staff from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office joined staff from WDFW and volunteers at one of the breeding enclosures for annual capture of rabbits to weigh and measure, administer flea treatments, and take genetic samples to estimate the health and well-being of the population.

For more information about the captive breeding program, visit: wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/pygmy_rabbit/
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