Rabbit

©Jon Hawkins

Rabbit kit

©Jon Hawkins

Rabbit

Scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Who doesn’t love spotting rabbits hopping through long grass during a walk in the countryside? They are a common sight but it is always a treat to see their curious faces popping up, ears stood tall on the look out for predators.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 40cm
Weight: 1.2-2kg
Average lifespan: 3 years

Conservation status

Introduced, but naturalised species. Common.

When to see

January to December

About

Most people have spotted these adorable animals grazing in long grasses looking for their favourite foods. They were first introduced to the UK by the Normans for food and fur but are now a common sight for many. They live in large groups in underground burrow systems known as ‘warrens’. Female rabbits, called ‘does’ produce one litter of between three and seven babies every month during the breeding season – that’s a lot of little ones! Rabbits make a tasty snack for stoats, buzzards, polecats and red foxes, which is why having a warren to hide in for shelter is so important.

How to identify

The rabbit is grey-brown in colour, with long ears and hind legs, and a fluffy white tail. It is smaller than the brown hare and does not have black tips on its ears.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The rabbit is native to Spain and was introduced to this country by the Normans in the 12th century to provide food and fur.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.