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Good news for pygmy rabbits

Finally, after years of dwindling populations and a deadly outbreak in February and March, there may be some good news for Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits. I traveled out to Washington and Oregon to linkurl:report on efforts to save the species;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/6/1/40/1/ for our June issue. The Associated Press linkurl:reported last week;http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/06/14/ap3822788.html that doctoral student Len Zeoli had found a ''female digging a burrow and lining it wit

By | June 19, 2007

Finally, after years of dwindling populations and a deadly outbreak in February and March, there may be some good news for Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits. I traveled out to Washington and Oregon to linkurl:report on efforts to save the species;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/6/1/40/1/ for our June issue. The Associated Press linkurl:reported last week;http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/06/14/ap3822788.html that doctoral student Len Zeoli had found a ''female digging a burrow and lining it with grass, an indication she was preparing to give birth. Later, Zeoli spotted a partially grown juvenile rabbit near another burrow from what is believed to be a second litter of babies, called kits,'' Washington State University?s Rod Sayler told the AP. Meanwhile, Onyx, the male rabbit I met when he moved into temporary quarters in a 185-square meter pen to see how he would do in a ''prerelease setting,'' seems to be doing well. The hope is that he will eventually be released in Sagebrush Flats and breed with the females already released. ''Onyx has become a wild, feral boy,'' the Oregon Zoo?s Rachel Lamson, whose colleagues call her ''the rabbit whisperer,'' wrote me in an Email. ''He's lost in the jungle....the only trace of him is his little poops by the alfafa hay bin. We'll have to form a search party to track him down before he's released!'' See our linkurl:podcast;http://www.the-scientist.com/podcasts/theweek/2007/06/06/ for more on the pygmy rabbits and the workers who are trying to save them.
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