Diets of Black-tailed Jack Rabbits in Relation to Population Density and Vegetation
CitationJohnson, R. D., & Anderson, J. E. (1984). Diets of black-tailed jack rabbits in relation to population density and vegetation. Journal of Range Management, 37(1), 79-83.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractDiets of black-tailed jack rabbits (Lepus californicus) and composition of plant communities were compared among habitats that supported different densities of jack rabbits in sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)/perennial grass communities on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) in southeastern Idaho. Diets were more similar than vegetation among areas, indicating that jack rabbits feed selectively; winterfat (Ceratoides lanata) and perennial grasses were staple foods, comprising about 80% of the diet in all areas. Jack rabbit densities were higher in areas having higher proportions of grass cover. Similarity between diet and vegetation was positively correlated with jack rabbit density and with the amount of grass cover in the habitat. Jack rabbits selected grass-dominated areas for feeding at night and then fed as generalists on the grass species present.