Pygmy rabbits face a giant challenge

Pygmy rabbits’ size isn’t the only thing about them that’s tiny. The population of this endangered species is tiny, too, and the growing risk of wildfire in the sagebrush landscapes it calls home puts it in even greater risk. “I don’t think people realize how close we are to extinction,” Washington biologist Jon Gallie told Smithsonian Magazine. “They barely live two years. If you have two bad years, you are almost done.” Biologists are working to reintroduce the rabbits to the landscape and restore the threatened ecosystem.

Read more from Smithsonian Magazine.

Header Image: Pygmy rabbits face a growing threat of wildfire on the sagebrush meadows they occupy.
Credit: R. Dixon and H. Ulmschneider/USFWS