12 June 2012

Bunnies in the Bog

When I do the school field trip tours, I always ask the children what type of mammal might use the Salal and Labrador Tea understory for shelter. As a general rule, someone will say 'bunnies'. I will then hang that one on an imaginary hook and come back to it.

Here's the thing.

Along Davies Creek, there have been sightings of Horseshoe Hares and at times during the past, there have been reports of Eastern Cottontails in the bog. This is not a species native to BC and so is quite rare on this side of the Rockies.
And there is no doubt that from time to time, household bunnies are 're-gifted' to the bog. Domestic bunnies are not well-adapted to life in the bog. Just as the wild 'Leporidae' (Rabbits and Hares), they are food for raptors such as hawks and owls and for carnivorous mammals such as coyotes and foxes.
The wild species are able to breed and keep their populations up, but a poor bewildered household pet, abandoned in the Delta Nature Reserve, will not last for very long.

So do bunnies use the understory for shelter? They can run - or hop - but they cannot hide - at least for very long.

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