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Because of its ancient roots, the Amami rabbit is referred to as a living fossil. These rabbits are a very old breed, descended from ancient ancestors who lived on the Japanese islands. Because they are extremely endangered today, they are rarely discovered in captivity unless they are under the strict supervision of wildlife professionals.
These rabbits were once common on the Japanese mainland, but they have become extinct. You are unlikely to witness one of these creatures unless you travel to its natural environment. But that doesn’t negate the importance of learning about these unique species and their contribution to island life.
The Amami rabbit is descended from ancient rabbits that once roamed China and Eastern and Central Europe. Unlike many other wild rabbit breeds, Amami rabbits have extremely dark fur that distinguishes them from their rabbit cousins.
Amamis can be found on two small islands in Japan, Amami and Tukunoshima, located between southern Kyushu and Okinawa. Due to population growth, natural predation, and the loss of their native environment, their numbers are falling now.
Wildlife experts work to preserve these bunnies natural habitats so that they might thrive. Even though their numbers are declining, these bunnies should be able to continue to grace the earth for as long as possible—and possibly even recover their numbers.
What is the average lifespan of an Amami rabbit?
What is the size of an Amami rabbit?
9 – 11 inches
2500 – 2800 grams
What colours are Amami rabbits?
Dark to reddish-brown
What is the current population of Amami rabbits?
The Amami rabbit can only be found in the forests of two small islands off the coast of Japan (Amami and Tokunoshima). Habitat erosion and predation by invasive mongooses, feral dogs, and cats are causing its fragmented population of roughly 5,400 animals to dwindle.
How do Amami rabbits defend themselves?
This species of rabbit can be found on Amami Island and Toku-no Island in both young and mature forests. For cover and protection, they rely on grass and other herbs. To safeguard their offspring, female rabbits frequently burrow holes in the earth.
Why is the Amami rabbit on the verge of extinction?
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the Amami rabbit as an endangered species due to habitat loss and a fall in the number of mature individuals in the population (Yamada and Smith 2016).
Is the Amami rabbit a Japanese native?
According to research conducted on the ground by the Environment Ministry, the Amami rabbit, an endangered species native to the Amami-Oshima and Tokunoshima islands in Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan, has increased in number for the first time.
What is the appearance of an Amami rabbit?
The Amami rabbit has short front and back legs, a hefty body, and big, curved claws utilised for digging and climbing. When compared to other hares or rabbits, its ears are substantially smaller. On top, the pelage is thick, woolly, and dark brown; it gets more reddish-brown on the sides.
What is one fun fact about the Amami rabbit?
The Amami rabbit is an old species of rabbit that lives on the Amami islands in southern Japan. It has been threatened since the 1990s due to deforestation and the introduction of the mongoose, which was imported to the area in the late 1970s to limit the number of deadly snakes.
Is a rabbit considered an animal?
The European rabbit, which has been brought to every continent except Antarctica, is well-known as a wild hunt species and domesticated livestock and pet worldwide.
Why are rabbits referred to as bunnies?
If we look at the origins of the word bunny, we can see that it may have arisen from the Scottish word bun, which means rabbit or rabbit tale. This word may have evolved into a bunny, used to denote small animals, particularly rabbits, over time.
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