Belongs to: mammals

Compare with: brown hare

Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

One of the most frequently seen wild mammals, in many areas a serious agricultural pest

Habitat: anywhere with enough grazing nearby and cover for burrows

Originate from Spain and N. Africa; introduced to Britain in Middle Ages and kept for food, but escaped into the wild

Recognition

Normally greyish brown with white undertail, but colour variations occur; up to 55 cm

Excavate extensive burrows and graze around the entrances, running for cover in them if alarmed

Feed on grass and other green plants, sometimes tree bark; leave small, round, fibrous droppings collected in groups

Lifecycle

Nest is made of grasses lined with fur usually underground

Up to 5 litters a year of up to 8 young, spring to early autumn

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Photo © Alan Williams

Photo © Alan Williams