Rabbits tend to be active during the evening and night, but in areas where they are undisturbed by humans they become more active during the day (5). They feed on a wide range of vegetation, including grasses, tree bark, crops, and herbs (5). They live in groups numbering between a single pair and up to 30 individuals, inside burrow systems known as 'warrens' (4). Burrowing is carried out solely by females (3). Within a warren, two distinct hierarchies operate, one amongst bucks, the other amongst does; an individual's status is set during play-fighting as a young rabbit (3). Fighting may occur between two males over a receptive doe (3). Scent marking known as 'chinning', because the scent glands are located underneath the chin, is exhibited by both sexes but is more frequent in males than females. This behaviour reinforces the social ranking of an individual (3). Sexual maturity is reached at 3.5 months in does and 4 months of age in bucks, and breeding tends to occur between January and August. Courtship involves males chasing females, and spraying them with urine (3). Mating is a brief affair, lasting just a few seconds, but is repeated frequently while the female is receptive. Gestation takes about 30 days, and one litter is usually produced each month, each litter consisting of 2-7 blind, helpless and naked young (kittens), which are born in a nest lined with fur from the mother's belly (3). Foxes, mink, stoats, polecats, and wildcats prey upon all ages of rabbit; badgers, weasels, buzzards and domestic cats prey on juveniles (5). Rabbits are very alert mammals, with a keen sense of smell. When feeding, they periodically rear up on their back legs to look for danger; they warn other rabbits of danger by thumping their back legs on the ground and raising the white tail, signals that cause other rabbits to bolt back to the safety of the warren (3).
No one has provided updates yet.