Habitat use of coexisting introduced eastern cottontail and native European hare.

Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde 78(4):235–240. DOI:10.1016/j.mambio.2013.02.002


The niche of introduced species and that of native ones may overlap, thus causing detrimental effects on the latter through competitive interactions. We used radio telemetry to investigate habitat partitioning during the active period by the introduced American eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and the native European hare (Lepus europaeus) in sympatric conditions. Home ranges of cottontails varied from 1.1–2.2 ha in autumn to 3.0–3.6 ha in summer. In hares, home ranges were 30.5–33.8 ha in summer and increased to 49.5–85.9 ha in winter. Both species used an overall area composed of about 27% of natural habitats (i.e., meadows, woodlands, shrubby habitats, shores, and uncultivated land) and over 70% of field crops. The coexistence of the two species appeared to be facilitated by habitat partitioning. Habitat use of cottontails was characterized by a preference for natural habitats at the study area level as well as within the home ranges, while hares showed a preference for crop fields at both spatial scales and a seasonal selection of meadows within home ranges. Habitat overlap measured with the Pianka index was 0.57–0.64 in autumn and winter, and increased in summer and spring to 0.73–0.78. Our results provide evidence of different resource selection strategies adopted by these two sympatric lagomorph species. Hare populations are often found in agricultural landscapes at low-densities, while cottontails are currently spreading throughout Northern Italy to such an extent that an eradication programme appears unfeasible. In this situation, conservation measures for hares and other species should also take into consideration the presence or possible arrival of cottontails. Habitat restoration measures that would increase the amount of fallow lands and shrublands may favour cottontails more than hares. In areas where introduced lagomorphs are present, the necessity of natural open landscapes for hares may be better faced by increasing the presence of meadows, that are seasonally used by hares and not by cottontails.


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Montag, 08 November 2021 17:07

DORI, P., SCALISI, M. & MORI, E. (2019)

“An American near Rome” … and not only! Presence of the eastern cottontail in Central Italy and potential impacts on the endemic and vulnerable Apennine hare.

Mammalia 83(3): 307-312. 


The eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus has been introduced to Italy for hunting purposes since the 1960s. This species is currently present in northern Italy, with some small populations in Central Italy. Data for Central Italy are scanty, but they deserve research attention because this lagomorph is responsible for the spread of disease to an endemic vulnerable species, the Apennine hare Lepus corsicanus. In this work, we summarized the distribution of alien cottontails, over 50 years after their first releases, with special regard to areas where the endemic species is present. Eradication should be recommended where the alien species coexists with the endemic one.


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Sylvilagus floridanus.

Mammalian Species 136: 1-8. The American Society of Mammalogists


Die Publikation folgt dem üblichen Schema der Mammalian Species-Datenblätter. Sie geht von 35 Unterarten aus und enthlt 1 s/w Foto, Strichzeichnungen eines Schdels und 2 Verbreitungskarten.


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Freitag, 07 Februar 2020 08:41

OSTRZECHA, P. & HIRT, J. (2003)

Schulungsordner Kleinsäuger - Zur Erlangung der Sachkunde für den Zoofachhandel nach § 11 TierSch.G

Mit Ergänzungsliefrung Exotische Kleinsäuger.
302 + 174 Seiten, farbig illustriert.

Herausgeber: BNA, Hambrücken


Auf über 300 Seiten und mit ca. 250 farbigen Abbildungen werden die Grundlagen der Haltung von Zwergkaninchen, Meerschweinchen, Goldhamster, Zwerghamstern, Farbratte und -maus, Mongolischer Rennmaus, Stachelmäusen, Chinchilla, Degu, Streifenhörnchen und Frettchen sowohl im Zoofachhandel als auch in Privathand dargestellt.

Darüber hinaus finden sich ausführliche Angaben über Biologie, Ernährung, Fortpflanzung und Krankheiten der Kleinsäuger.

Die Ergänzungslieferung "Exotische Kleinsäuger" ist inzwischen fester Bestandteil des Schulungsordners Kleinsäuger. Sie behandelt in 10 Kapiteln auf über 170 Seiten alle Aspekte der Haltung und Pflege Exotischer Kleinsäuger und dient als Leitfaden zum Erwerb der Sachkunde. 32 Arten (u.a. Afrikanischer Weißbauchigel, Persische Rennmaus, Sugar Glider) werden in detaillierten Steckbriefen dargestellt.


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Donnerstag, 14 Juni 2018 08:07

CHAPMAN, J. A. & FLUX, J. E. C. (1990)

Rabbits, Hares and Pikas : Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. 

168 Seiten, zahlreiche s/w-Fotos und Landkarten.
IUCN, Gland.ISBN 2-8317-0019-1.

Aus dem Vorwort:

The   Lagomorph   Specialist   Group   reviewed   for   the   first time  the  status  of  the  worlds’  lagomorphs,  critically  examined those  species  which  appeared  to  require  attention,  and  listed important  decisions  for  future  conservation  action  concerning the volcano rabbit Romerolagus  diazi (Mexico), riverine rabbit Bunolagus monticularis (South  Africa),  hispid  hare  Caprolagus hispidus (India and Nepal), Sumatran rabbit Nesolagus netscheri   (Indonesia)  and  Amami  rabbit Pentalagus furnessi (Japan).

Emphasis  was  placed  on  the  need  for  a  comprehensive    review  of  hares  and  for  the  development  of  programs  for monitoring   lagomorphs   and   their   habitat   wherever   required. The  need  to  bring  these  matters  to  the  attention  of  Governments  was  given  high  priority.  Project  proposals  resulting  from these  deliberations  were  submitted  to  the  Commission  for inclusion  in  the  IUCN  Conservation  Programme  for  Sustainable   Development.

The Lagomorph Group, building on its good start, soon assumed responsibility for providing the information necessary for preparing and updating lagomorph entries in the Red Data Book and for submissions to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It holds a strong position against the introduction of the eastern cottontail to Europe, and has willingly participated in discussions on the subject when requested.

The Group also continues to take the lead in keeping lagomorphs on conference agenda at international meetings, and has widened its in recent years to look at the status of some of the lesser known races or subspecies of the more common lagomorphs. Lagomorphs are relatively small mammals and do not excite the curiosity and appeal of some of their larger kind.

There has thus never been much financial support for conservation. But they are of critical importance in world ecosystems and I applaud the action taken by the Species Survival Commission in setting up this Group when it did. I am particularly pleased that IUCN has agreed to fund this publication of the Lagomorph Specialist Group Action Plan. The achievement of main objectives depends to a large extent on the continued activities of small teams of dedicated people like those who constitute this Group; the publication will give them an opportunity to say what they are trying to do.

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