Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On the Wild Side: Amami Black Rabbit No Longer Endangered

An ebony color rabbit, the Amami Black rabbit in Japan has managed to survive and flourish.  The Amami Rabbit is indigenous and unique to Japan.  It lives on two islands Amami Oshima and Toku no Shima in southern Japan and has been removed from the endangered species list.  Most of it's natural habitat has been destroyed so the bunnies have been in decline. As you can see from the photo the Amami has shorter ears, but still has those big thumping hind legs like most lagomorphs.  The Amami rabbit is also known as the "Midnight Bunny." The behavior of the female Amami includes burying their kits to protect them from predators then returning at night to uncover and feed them. This behavior is shared by other female lagomorphs (including domesticated rabbits) who will normally cover their babies with at least their own fur (plus grasses/twigs if available) and feed once or twice at night. Unfortunately, the Amami rabbit it isn't as prolific as other rabbits and only breeds once or twice a year. However, it looks like its isolation on the Japanese islands has given this Midnight Bunny a chance to see brighter days.