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Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)
Mammals Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)

Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) are large, diurnal rabbits of open areas. The large size, extremely long ears (tipped with black), and black tail serve to separate this species from cottontail rabbits.

Jackrabbits survive by listening and watching carefully for predators. As a potential predator approaches, they sit quietly in the shade of a shrub hoping not to be seen. If the predator gets too close, they will bolt from their hiding place and run long distances at great speeds. Coyotes sometimes catch jackrabbits by taking turns running the rabbit until it is too tired to outrun a rested coyote. The end of the chase is sometimes accompanied by several rounds of gleeful coyote song.

Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)
Very long legs (Mojave National Preserve)

Jacks don't generally sleep in burrows; rather, they make a scrape and sleep on open ground where they can see a long ways in all directions and run before danger gets close. Even in brushy areas, jacks make scrapes in spaces between shrubs. During the day, jacks often use pallets under bushes for shade.

Jackrabbit pallets can be confused with Desert Tortoise pallets, but jackrabbits tend to dig out the dirt forming a rounded depression in the pallet, and they tend to make a berm at the edge. In contrast, tortoises tend to dig out the dirt forming a flat depression in the pallet (flat like the bottom of their shell), and tortoises tend to flatten out the dirt at the edge of the pallet. In addition, Jackrabbit pallets might have jackrabbit tracks and jackrabbit pellets, but they don't have tortoise tracks or tortoise scat. Even so, if you are looking for tortoises, it is always worth looking in jackrabbit pallets.

Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)
Typical view: note the black ear tips and black tail
Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)
Big ears!
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)
Jackrabbit pallet
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)
Jackrabbit pallet
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)
Jackrabbit pallet
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)
Jackrabbit pallet in hole at edge of wash (notice berm in front)
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)
Jackrabbit scat
Black-tailed Jack Rabbits (Lepus californicus)
Jackrabbit "scrape" (bunny bed)
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)
Dried Jackrabbit urine spot
Black-tailed Jack Rabbit (Lepus californicus)
Dried Jackrabbit urine and scat

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120910

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