Pygmy Rabbit

Pygmy Rabbit | FWS, Ulmschneider, Dixon

Scientific Name: Brachylagus idahoensis


The pygmy rabbit lives where there is plentiful sagebrush for shelter and food. Its historical range includes portions of California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Washington.

Refuges where the pygmy rabbit can be found:


Pygmy rabbits are threatened by the loss and degradation of their sagebrush habitat from development, oil and gas production, agricultural uses and wildfires. In 2003, the Columbia Basin population pygmy rabbits was listed as endangered in Washington state.


Weighing less than one pound as an adult, the pygmy rabbit is the smallest member of the family of rabbits and hares. In addition to its diminutive size, this species is distinguished by its short ears, gray color, small hind legs and lack of white fur on its tail. It is also one of the only rabbits or hares in North America that digs its own burrows. Pygmy rabbits have an extremely short breeding season- about two months long.

What NWRA is doing:

Beyond the Boundaries:  Sagebrush Steppe

Help us protect the Sheldon and Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuges, where the pygmy rabbit and many other species live. The Sheldon and Hart Mountain refuges are part of our Beyond the Boundaries program. These refuges were set aside in the 1930s to protect the rugged landscape and unique wildlife of the high desert. They shelter not only pygmy rabbits, but pronghorn, mule deer, sage-grouse, and redband trout. NWRA is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners to protect this important landscape, and to balance the needs of local ranchers with the needs of wildlife. Learn more.

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