Marshall the Marsh Rabbit
Marshall the Marsh Rabbit was admitted to PRWC as an adult in 2015 after he was struck by a vehicle. He was neurological and “gator rolling”. After treatment, he improved enough to the point that he didn’t gator roll as much, but with a permanent head tilt and gator rolling when stressed due to his head trauma, he is not a good candidate to be released back to the wild.
Cool Facts about Marshall the Marsh Rabbit
The marsh rabbit is a small cottontail rabbit found in marshes and swamps of coastal regions of the Eastern and Southern United States. It is a strong swimmer and found only near regions of water. It is similar in appearance to the eastern cottontail but is characterized by smaller ears, legs, and tail.
- Habitat: The marsh rabbit commonly inhabits brackish and freshwater marshes, mainly of cattails and cypress. In southern Florida, they commonly occupy sandy islands and mangrove swamps. They are strictly limited to regions with ready access to water, unlike most rabbits. Often, they will enter tidal marshes, but remain near high ground for protection. Normal hiding spots include dense thickets of magnolia, black-gum, sweet-gum, briers, and cattails
- Reproduction: Breeding in marsh rabbits occurs year-round. Typical brood sizes are 2 to 4 young with a gestation period of 30 to 37 days. Adult females produce up to 6 litters per year with an average annual production of 15 to 20 young. Nests are built from rushes, grasses, and leaves. The well-covered nest is lined with hair from the adult rabbits. They are often found in dense thickets or swampy places completely surrounded by water for protection
- Diet: Marsh rabbits are strictly herbivorous. Typically, they feed on leaves and bulbs of marsh plants including cattails, rushes, and grasses. They can also feed on other aquatic or marsh plants such as centella, greenbrier vine, marsh pennywort, water hyacinth, wild potato, and amaryllis
- Behavior: Marsh rabbits are most active nocturnally; they spend most of the daylight hours resting in hidden areas. Frequent hiding spots include dense thickets, hollow logs, and stands of cattails and grasses. They have also been known to take advantage of the abandoned burrows of other animals. Marsh rabbits frequently make runway trails in dense vegetation along marsh edges. These trails can be identified easily as the rabbits mark active runways with fecal pellets
Source: from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia