By Katy Muldoon
July 23, 2011
Sometimes success comes in the tiniest packages.
Take the case of the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, a species nearly extinct in 2002, when only 16 were known to exist in the wild. Biologists recently discovered that for the first time in more than a decade, at least one of the rabbits successfully reproduced in the wild, delivering kits in their central Washington home range.
The find was hailed this week by the Oregon Zoo, a key player in the effort to save North America’s smallest rabbits. The zoo breeds them, and after this year will be the sole captive-breeding site for the federally endangered species.