If you think you’ve seen more rabbits than usual in the Peninsula this summer, you’re right. Due to the recent increase in bunny sightings, the cottontail rabbit is our wild neighbor for this issue of the newsletter.
According to Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, “Cottontail populations on average are 50 percent higher than we’ve seen over the last 10 years. Our cottontail populations remain strong statewide with the highest densities in southeast Iowa.”
Bogenschutz explains that weather is the cause for the population explosion for two reasons. First, rabbits survive a mild winter more easily than a harsh one, and one thing we know about rabbits is More Bunnies = More Bunnies. Second, a normal to wetter than normal spring results in more prolific green vegetation; thus, more food for the increased population of cottontails.
If you want to spot even more rabbits, use this map from the Iowa DNR. The darker the color, the denser the rabbit population.
Above: An explosion in Cottontail populations this year in Iowa
Above: Cottontail population densities map from the Iowa DNR
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Article: September 7, 2012
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