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15 October 2009 Diel and Seasonal Activity Patterns of Pygmy Rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis)
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Abstract

Characterizing circadian activity patterns is one of the essential steps to understanding how a species interacts with its environment. This study documented activity patterns of pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) in free-ranging populations at 5 sites in Nevada and California. Infrared-triggered camera systems were placed within areas occupied by populations of pygmy rabbits and operated for 1 year. The number of photographs obtained per hour was used as an index of aboveground activity. Activity was analyzed for diel and seasonal patterns as well as for differences among populations. All populations showed a bimodal diel activity pattern with most activity occurring at dawn and at dusk during all seasons. Greatest activity occurred at dawn except during winter. Four of the 5 study sites showed similar levels of activity. The atypical site was located 550 m higher in elevation at a locality known for extreme weather; activity levels were twice as high at that site. Activity patterns of pygmy rabbits likely reflect a combination of predation pressures as well as metabolic energy demands.

Eveline S. Larrucea and Peter F. Brussard "Diel and Seasonal Activity Patterns of Pygmy Rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis)," Journal of Mammalogy 90(5), 1176-1183, (15 October 2009). https://doi.org/10.1644/08-MAMM-A-272.1
Received: 27 August 2008; Accepted: 1 March 2009; Published: 15 October 2009
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