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As part of a captive-breeding program to restore extirpated Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) to their native habitat in Washington, we documented mating and parental care behavior of these lagomorphs, which was previously unknown. Pygmy rabbits bred from late February through early June, and mating behavior consisted of chasing and brief copulations. Although presented with 1–4 mating partners and 1–6 mating opportunities annually, only 74% of females became pregnant each year. Unlike other lagomorphs, females dug a 16- to 35-cm natal burrow, usually separate from the residential burrow system, an average of 13 days after a successful copulation. Twenty-four days after copulation, females...
Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation has been increasing in temperate latitudes in recent decades and is expected to continue rising for some time. Enhanced UV-B radiation can change plant chemistry, yet the effects of these changes on mammalian herbivores are unknown. To examine the influence of enhanced UV-B radiation on nutrition of a specialist and generalist hindgut fermenter, we measured nutritional and chemical constituents of three common North American range plants, big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoregneria spicata), and how these changes influenced in vitro dry matter digestibility and in vivo digestibility by pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis)...
Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) comprises up to 99% of the winter and 50% of the summer diets of pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis). Few animals specialize on such plants as sagebrush, which contain high levels of plant chemicals that can be toxic. We investigated the nutritional requirements of pygmy rabbits and their ability and propensity to consume sagebrush alone and as part of a mixed diet. We compared diet choices of pygmy rabbits with that of a generalist forager, the eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus). Pygmy rabbits had a moderately low nitrogen requirement (306.5 mg N/kg0.75/d), but a relatively high energy requirement, needing 750.8 kJ digestible energy/kg0.75/d to maintain their body mass...
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Vegetation cover was extracted from the Landfire Existing Vegetation Height dataset.> 100cm vegetation height = good60 - 100cm vegetation height = moderate
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Cumulative analysis on key indicators ranking each key ecological attribute on scale of 1-3 (3 highest) for pygmy rabbit and totaling a score for all the indicators. . These data are provided by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "as is" and may contain errors or omissions. The User assumes the entire risk associated with its use of these data and bears all responsibility in determining whether these data are fit for the User's intended use. These data may not have the accuracy, resolution, completeness, timeliness, or other characteristics appropriate for applications that potential users of the data may contemplate. The User is encouraged to carefully consider the content of the metadata file associated with these...
We examined patterns of genetic variation and diversity of extant pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) populations across the species’ current range in Nevada and California. Our aims were to determine population genetic structure and levels of diversity across the southern portion of the species’ range. We genotyped 13 microsatellite loci from 194 fecal samples collected across 14 localities. Our Bayesian cluster analyses found 2 genetically distinct groups: 1 in the Mono Basin of California and the other encompassing all remaining Nevada Great Basin populations. Considering only the Nevada Great Basin group, we found 4 minimally divergent groups that overlap spatially with many individuals maintaining composite...
Determining occurrence and distribution is an essential 1st step in conservation planning for rare species. Spatial habitat models can be used to increase efficiency of field surveys and to improve understanding about factors influencing animal distributions. We used a modeling approach to identify and prioritize potential habitat for survey efforts for an uncommon mammal, the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), for which detailed habitat data are limited. A base map of potential habitat in Idaho was defined using vegetation type and soil depth data. Documented locations (n = 164) were used to evaluate additional habitat variables to prioritize the potential habitat for surveys. We conducted field surveys to...
Characterizing circadian activity patterns is one of the essential steps to understanding how a species interacts with its environment. This study documented activity patterns of pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) in free-ranging populations at 5 sites in Nevada and California. Infrared-triggered camera systems were placed within areas occupied by populations of pygmy rabbits and operated for 1 year. The number of photographs obtained per hour was used as an index of aboveground activity. Activity was analyzed for diel and seasonal patterns as well as for differences among populations. All populations showed a bimodal diel activity pattern with most activity occurring at dawn and at dusk during all seasons....
Factors influencing patterns of space use by pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are poorly understood. We studied diurnal space use by adult pygmy rabbits during multiple breeding and nonbreeding seasons at 3 sites in the Lemhi Valley, Idaho, USA, during 2004–2005. Pygmy rabbits used larger areas than predicted by allometric models and documented by some previous investigations. Sex and season strongly influenced space use by rabbits. Males used larger home ranges and core areas, more burrow systems, and more widely dispersed burrow systems than did female rabbits. We also documented significant differences among study sites in many movement parameters, which suggested that local resource distribution also...
Resting metabolic rate of pygmy rabbits (0.89 ml 02 g-1 h-1) was high compared to other eutherian mammals, but not unusual among lagomorphs. The estimated size of the zone of thermoneutrality was ca. 8-90C, with the lower critical temperature occurring between 15 and 200C, depending on body mass. Minimum thermal conductance was lower and mean body temperature was higher than predicted for similarly sized mammals. Body temperature fluctuated > 1?C within a 24-h period, but showed no circadian patterns. Pygmy rabbits are thermally stressed during harsh winters in Wyoming, but low thermal conductance, a highenergy source of food, and favorable microenvironments enhance survival. Published in Journal of Mammalogy, volume...
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Vegetation cover was extracted from the Landfire Existing Vegetation Cover dataset. The percent cover of sagebrush was extracted from this dataset and used in the analysis.> 40% of analysis unit containing sagebrush cover = good20-40% of analysis unit containing sagebrush cover = moderate
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Human footprint (downloaded from sagemap) was used to determine the amount of human disturbance near pygmy rabbit modeled habitat. Human footprint ranks data on a scale of 1 - 10 (with 1 being the most pristine and 10 being the most anthropogenic). Zonal statistcs was run with the resulting mean score by analysis unit
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Developed a general habitat model for pygmy rabbits using MaxEnt software, Phillips and others, 2006. Values of vegetation and abiotic variables at 3,066 mapped pygmy rabbit locations, provided by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, since 1990 were derived from data from SAGEMAP, Hanser and others, 2011, Homer and others, 2012, USGS, and WorldClim. Variables with the greatest weight included the average temperature of the coldest quarter, sagebrush cover, annual mean temperature, and the percent of sand in the soil. The map of potential pygmy rabbit habitat was based on MaxEnt parameter values that included 95 percent of the locations; omission rate of 5 percent. For additional details see the Wyoming Basin Rapid...
FY2014Land management agencies seek to understand how organisms use the landscape in order to develop management strategies that maintain healthy, resilient communities that have the ecological and evolutionary potential to respond to climate change. An ideal approach to understanding how organisms move through the landscape is by inferring ongoing and historic movements from patterns of genetic continuity that characterize regional sets of populations. From patterns of genetic connectivity we can infer the habitat and landscape characteristics that facilitate animal movement and species range shifts over both short and long timescales. Knowing the spatial distribution of critical linkages or corridors allows conservation...
The objective of this preliminary modeling effort was to prepare a single HexSimPLE model for the Northern Basin Pygmy rabbit population within the geographic extent of the Northwest Basin and Range landscape (Figure 1, http://www.greatbasinlcc.org/nw-basin- range). Population parameters derived from the literature and reviewed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) refuges team were used to populate a simplified individual- based model (IBM) platform to develop a reasonable yet simplistic representation of pygmy rabbit movement, habitat use, and population dynamics in this landscape. This preliminary modeling effort was used to make qualitative comparisons among hypothetical land management scenarios. Results...
The pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) is the smallest leporid in North America and is endemic to sagebrush-steppe habitats of the Great Basin (Jansen 1946; Green and Flinders 1980). Brachylagus idahoensis is an extreme habitat specialist that relies exclusively on big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) for food and for protection from predators and thermal extremes; it is also the only native rabbit species that constructs extensive burrow systems (Green and Flinders 1980; Katzner 1994). Because of their dependence on this vegetation type, populations of B. idahoensis are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation, overgrazing, and sagebrush eradication (Holecheck 1981; Dobler and Dixon 1990). Although knowledge of B....
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In addition to current distribution of each mammal species, this map shows their current and near-term status within the ecoregion. Current, long-term, and summary bioclimate data is also include for several of these mammal species. The input datasets used in the distribution model are also included. These data are provided by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "as is" and may contain errors or omissions. The User assumes the entire risk associated with its use of these data and bears all responsibility in determining whether these data are fit for the User's intended use. These data may not have the accuracy, resolution, completeness, timeliness, or other characteristics appropriate for applications that potential...
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The FSim burn probability was used to determine the burn probability of the pygmy rabbit habitat within the ecoregion. This layer was used to examine wildfire risk pygmy rabbit.
We determined sizes of home ranges for pygmy rabbits in southwestern Wyoming and characterized the vegetation within and outside those areas used during winters of 1993 and 1994. Seventy percent of pygmy rabbits used more than one core area within their home range. Habitats within home ranges had less low ground cover and a greater number of wider, taller Artemisia tridentata than did adjacent non-used areas. Pygmy rabbits selectively used dense and structurally diverse stands of A. t. tridentata, which also accumulated more snow than areas of low use. Structure and diversity of vegetation above the snow's surface declined as the season progressed and depths of snow increased. The subnivean environment provided...
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Gas field infrastructure elements contributing to land disturbance located in four gas fields (Continental Divide – Creston – Blue Gap (CCB), Jonah, Moxa Arch, and Pinedale Anticline Project Area) in southwestern Wyoming were collected as polygon features in ArcGIS. Classes included four types of roads, well pads (active and abandoned), residual disturbance associated with the well pads, buried utilities, disturbances associated with non-well pad industry facilities, and areas of general disturbance associated with the installation and operation of gas wells not fitting one of the other disturbance class definitions.


map background search result map search result map Land Disturbance Associated With Oil and Gas Extraction in Southwestern Wyoming, 2012 Landscape Connectivity of a Sagebrush Obligate: Functional Continuity of Habitat for the Pygmy Rabbit BLM REA NGB 2011 Human Footprint within Pygmy Rabbit modeled habitat BLM REA NGB 2011 Vegetation Cover within Pygmy rabbit modeled habitat BLM REA NGB 2011 Fsim Burn Probability in Pygmy Rabbit Habitat BLM REA NGB 2011 Vegetation Height within Pygmy rabbit modeled habitat BLM REA WYB 2011 Ch27 Pygmy Rabbit BLM REA CBR 2010 Terrestrial Species Mammals Status - Pygmy Rabbit BLM REA NGB 2011 Cumulative Indicator Score for Pygmy Rabbit Land Disturbance Associated With Oil and Gas Extraction in Southwestern Wyoming, 2012 BLM REA NGB 2011 Fsim Burn Probability in Pygmy Rabbit Habitat BLM REA NGB 2011 Human Footprint within Pygmy Rabbit modeled habitat BLM REA NGB 2011 Vegetation Cover within Pygmy rabbit modeled habitat BLM REA NGB 2011 Vegetation Height within Pygmy rabbit modeled habitat Landscape Connectivity of a Sagebrush Obligate: Functional Continuity of Habitat for the Pygmy Rabbit BLM REA WYB 2011 Ch27 Pygmy Rabbit BLM REA NGB 2011 Cumulative Indicator Score for Pygmy Rabbit BLM REA CBR 2010 Terrestrial Species Mammals Status - Pygmy Rabbit