| Tres Marias Cottontails lack one of the most basic rabbit responses: they do not fear humans and do not flee to safety the way rabbits usually do. This is almost certainly because they have lived for centuries on four small islands in the Pacific Ocean about 100 km from the mainland, where their only danger came from raccoons and a few birds of prey. There they evolved separately from the mainland species, the Mexican Cottontail, and developed their own patterns of behavior. The islands are incredibly dry; there are no lakes, streams, or rivers. Temperatures are moderate, and most rainfall occurs in the summer. Today the rabbits are abundant on only the smallest of the islands, which is heavily ringed with thick cactus plants and is almost inaccessible to humans. Humans now use the other islands. One contains a prison colony; there are introduced animals, including pigs and goats; the species is endangered.
Total for two ssp: S.g.g.: 466.11 mm; S.g.b.: 436.91 mm; Tail: 50.21 and 32.55
Allen, J.A, 1877. In Coues, E. and J.A. Allen, Monographs on North American Rodentia. Report of the U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories. 11:347.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account (opens in a new window).