Diurnal Habitat Use by Lower Keys Marsh Rabbits Academic Article uri icon


  • We used radiotelemetry to locate daytime forms of endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbits (LKMRs; Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) throughout their range so we could determine habitat characteristics of diurnal cover. We typically found forms (n = 1,298) of 36 rabbits in brackish wetlands in patches of saltmarsh or buttonwoods. In freshwater wetlands, forms (n = 54) were located most often in patches of freshwater hardwoods embedded in or adjacent to freshwater marshes. Forms (n - 942) in brackish wetlands were characterized by thick groundcover (>75%), whereas those (n = 42) in freshwater wetlands had both thick groundcover and canopy vegetation. The mean minimum convex polygon around forms of 15 rabbits was 1.4 ha (SD = 1.7), with smaller ranges characterized by thick bunchgrasses or dump-forming sedges. To increase the amount of annual space usable by LKMRs, managers should provide more saltmarsh habitat interspersed with buttonwoods and enhance ground cover in existing habitat.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Wildlife Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Faulhaber, C. A., Silvy, N. J., Lopez, R. R., Lafever, D. H., Frank, P. A., & Peterson, M. J.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Faulhaber, Craig A||Silvy, Nova J||Lopez, Roel R||Lafever, David H||Frank, Philip A||Peterson, Markus J

publication date

  • July 2008