A rare image was captured on a farm in the Northern Cape showing a Riverine Rabbit and her two kits hopping happily along.
Loxton, Northern Cape – The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) have captured the first-ever photographic evidence of Riverine Rabbit kits (babies) with their mother. The excitement about this rare moment can be felt across the conservation world.
This never-before-seen image was captured using a camera trap on a farm near Loxton. In the image (which you can see above) you can see the mother Riverine Rabbit and two kits.
The image has also given researches some insight into breeding and parenting habits. They learned that the Riverine Rabbit doesn’t have large litters like its domestic counterpart but instead has one to two kits per birth.
“To make this news even more exciting, the area where this image was captured was previously data deficient. This means that no sightings of Riverine Rabbit were previously recorded on this farm. The new discovery takes us one step closer to closing the gaps in our knowledge of the complete distribution range for the species and provides us with more information on their ecology.
The EWT’s Drylands Conservation Programme significantly increased its camera trapping activities in 2019, in both the northern and southern populations of Riverine Rabbits. This has led to several exciting developments, such as the confirmation of the new Baviaanskloof population, and a far greater understanding of the species and their use of habitat.
We would like to thank our funders, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and the Zoologischen Gesellschaft für Arten und Populationsschutz (ZGAP), for providing ongoing support for our innovative endeavours to uncover the secrets of the iconic Riverine Rabbit.”
You can follow the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s conservation efforts via their website here.