New England Cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis)
The New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) is a medium-large sized cottontail rabbit that may reach 1,000 grams (2.2 pounds) in weight. Sometimes called the gray rabbit, brush rabbit, wood hare or cooney, it can usually be distinguished from the sympatric eastern cottontail and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) by several features. In general, the New England cottontail can be distinguished by its shorter ear length, slightly smaller body size, presence of a black spot between the ears, absence of a white spot on the forehead, and a black line on the anterior edge of the ears (Litvaitis et al. 1991, p. 11). The New England cottontail, like all cottontails, is short lived and reproduces at an early age with some juveniles probably breeding their first season. Litter size is typically five young (range 3-8) and females, which provide little parental care, may have 2-3 litters per year. New England cottontails occupy native shrublands associated with sandy soils or wetlands and regenerating forests associated with small scale disturbances that set back forest succession. New England cottontails are considered habitat specialists, in so far as they are dependent upon these early-successional habitats, frequently described as thickets (Litvaitis 2001, p. 466).
- States/US Territories in which the New England Cottontail is known to or is believed to occur: Maine , New York
- US Counties in which the New England Cottontail is known to or is believed to occur: View All
- USFWS Refuges in which the New England Cottontail is known to occur:
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
- Additional species information
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|Northeast Region (Region 5)|
» Federal Register Documents
No recovery information is available for the New England Cottontail.
» Critical Habitat
No critical habitat rules have been published for the New England Cottontail.
» Conservation Plans
|CCAA Plan Summaries|
|Programmatic CCAA for the New England Cottontail in Maine|
|Programmatic CCAA for the New England Cottontail in Southern New Hampshire|
» Life History
No Life History information has been entered into this system for this species.
» Other Resources
NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.
ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.