The pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) is a secretive, obligate sagebrush-steppe resident of the Intermountain West and is one of two rabbits in North America that digs its own burrows. Although the pygmy rabbit has a recorded home range of 0.21–67.9 ha in relatively high sagebrush cover (21%–36%), they spend much of their time within 30–100 m of a burrow system. Due to big sagebrush cover in preferred habitat and the secretive behavior of pygmy rabbits, it is often difficult to study this leporid through direct observation. We used remote cameras to document pygmy rabbit activity at burrow systems in south central Utah from 2006 to 2008. We analyzed photographs from remote cameras for daily and seasonal patterns of activity. Our results suggested that time of day and season were important influences on activity level, while year and site were less so. Pygmy rabbits were active during all time periods of the day, but the greatest activity occurred in the morning, except during winter. Numerous other species were recorded by remote cameras, including other leporids, birds, rodents, reptiles, and terrestrial predators. Remote cameras are a valuable tool in understanding pygmy rabbit behavior, in addition to confirming rabbit presence in areas of interest.
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Vol. 70 • No. 2