Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pygmy Rabbit Recovery in Washington

A group of us from the Pateros-Methow Valley area headed to Sagebrush Flats
near Ephrata, WA to help WDFW biologists with pygmy rabbit recovery efforts this week.  Arriving at 6:30am on the site, we spent the day rounding-up pygmy rabbit kits born just weeks to a month ago in their naturalized captive facility.  Those that had Columbia Basin genes were put back into the captive facility to become breeders for the upcoming seasons.  All others (given they were old enough and weighed enough) were released into the captive nursery for relocation into the wild in a week or so. 

Emmet, our 5 year old, was more than excited to help transport and release the kits into the nursery.  He also had the best views under the sagebrush, and therefore was a great spotter for finding the kits as they scrambled into their burrows (both artificial and natural).  We had a great day, even with the
wind, cooler temperatures, and dust blowing in every direction.  The rabbits in their burrows sure didn't seem to notice!

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