Encyclopedia Article


A long-eared mammal known for its prominent front teeth and powerful hindlegs, with which it hops and leaps rather than runs. The most common rabbits in the Southwest are desert cottontails and mountain cottontails. The mountain cottontail often is associated with thickets, sagebrush and cliffs, while the desert cottontail prefers open plains, foothills and low valleys of the arid Southwest.

Although jackrabbits are also common throughout the Southwest, they are not really rabbits. Instead they are considered hares and prefer semi-open, grassy plains and deserts as opposed to higher, rougher country.

Photo Credit: 

"Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus auduboni)" by Greg Schechter is licensed under CC BY.