Rabbit, photo by Elizabeth Dack 1/2
Rabbit, photo by Elizabeth Dack 2/2

Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus

Rabbits are common grey-brown furry mammals with long ears and long back legs but the rabbit’s most distinctive feature is the flash of white from the underside of its short tail as it runs away.

Conservation status

Although rabbits are still common throughout the UK there has been little research into their numbers and as 1 in 5 UK mammal species are under threat extinction according to the latest research we need to protect the rabbits and their habitat.

Details

Did you know? Rabbits are natives of Spain and were brought to Britain by the Normans in the 12th century. There is no mention of rabbits in the Domesday Book, listing all land and holdings, compiled in 1086 but Henry 111, 1216-72, ate rabbits as a delicacy and warrens were prized possessions and were looked after by Warreners but by the 18th century rabbits had established themselves to such an extent they were treated as pests. Until they were treated as pests there were severe penalties for poachers.
 
Until 18th century only young rabbits were called rabbits and adults were known as coneys and place names including ‘coney’ are likely to be near warrens.
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