Also known as the Bushman Rabbit, this species of rabbit is one of the world’s rarest mammals. This is due to many factors, one being it has an unusually low rate of breeding for rabbits, producing only 1 or 2 young per year. Habitat loss is another reason for the decline of population within this species. Hunting, dogs and traps are other reasons for the decline.
The status of the Riverine Rabbit was escalated from Endangered in 1996 – 2002, to Critically Endangered in 2003. Awareness programs have been set in place to protect this species. This species is endemic to the central Karoo Desert of South Africa.
The average Riverine Rabbit weighs between 1.4 to 1.9 kgs (3 to 4 pounds). It is easily identifiable by a distinct white ring around each eye, and a black stripe beginning from the corner of its mouth and extending over its cheek. The females are larger than the males.
They feed on flowers, grasses, leaves and other such food sources.
The gestation period after breeding has occured is around 35 or 36 days. Births occur August through May.