Riverine Rabbit

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Description:
The Riverine Rabbit (Bunolagus monticularis), also known as the Bushman Rabbit or Bushman Hare, is one of the rarest and most endangered mammals in the world, with probably no more than 200 individuals left. This rabbit has an extremely limited distribution area, found only in the central and southern regions of the Karoo Desert of South Africa's Cape Province. It is the only member of the genus Bunolagus.

Identification

It typically has a black stripe running from the corner of the mouth over the cheek. It has a brown woolly tail, cream-colored fur on its belly and throat, and a broad, club-like hind foot. Its tail is pale brown with a tinge of black toward the tip. It is a nocturnal species.

Habitat

It is nowadays found in only a few places in the Karoo, none of them being a protected area. Fraserburg, Sutherland and Victoria West all have small populations.

Behaviour

Riverine rabbits feed on their favourite foods, the boegoe bush and ink bush at night, and rest up in forms during the day. A form is a shallow scrape made in the soil under a bush. Two types of droppings are produced. At night, when the rabbit is active, hard pellets are deposited. During the day droppings are soft, taken directly from the anus, and swallowed. In this way the riverine rabbit obtains vitamin B, produced by bacteria in the hind gut, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are recycled.

==References==<!-- BiolConserv141:23. -->

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