There are several species of cottontail rabbit. This
desert cottontail can be found all throughout the
Mojave desert and are plentiful in the Rasor Road
OHV area. Cottontails range from
reddish brown to gray, but all feature the
distinctive "cotton ball" tail for which they are
These rabbits seek out habitat on the fringes of
open spaces, such as fields, meadows, and farms, but
can adapt to other habitats—including those of
They browse at night on grasses and herbs and are
fond of garden fare such as peas and, of course,
lettuce. In winter, their diet becomes a bit coarse
and consists of bark, twigs, and buds. During the
day, cottontails often remain hidden in vegetation.
If spotted, they flee from prey with a zigzag
pattern, sometimes reaching speeds of up to 18 miles
(29 kilometers) an hour.
Females give birth in
shallow ground nests, to young so helpless that
perhaps only 15 percent survive their first year.
Fortunately, rabbits breed three or four times every
year and produce three to eight young each time.
Young rabbits mature
quickly and are self-sufficient after only four or
five weeks. They are sexually mature after only two
or three months, so populations are able to grow
with staggering speed.