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Sylvilagus obscurus Chapman, Cramer, Dippenaar, and Robinson, 1992, commonly called the Appalachian cottontail, is distinguished from other syntopic leporids by its black spot between the ears, black fur along the anterior edge of the ears, and reddish-gray sides overlaid with a black wash. One of 22 species in the genus, S. obscurus is found across the Appalachian Mountains region, from Pennsylvania to northern Alabama. An inhabitant of habitats with dense woody understory cover such as early successional forests and mature forests with ericaceous shrubs, this rabbit is considered “Near Threatened,” with major threats that include habitat destruction, climate change, and competition with the eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus.
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