Ecology and Management Of Rabbits in Mississippi
Rabbits have long been an important game species in Mississippi. Rabbit populations responded well to early agricultural practices because those practices created ideal rabbit habitat. By the 20th century, hunting for survival was less common, and sport or recreational hunting became more popular. In the last 30 years, rabbit numbers have declined because of changes in land use and management.
Rabbit populations have declined because of conversion of fields to closed-canopy forests, industrialization of farming and forestry, less use of prescribed fire, and the widespread change of native plant communities to nonnative, invasive grasses like tall fescue and bermudagrass. Using proper management, you can increase local rabbit numbers for more hunting opportunities. Understanding the life history and ecology of different rabbit species provides the background for managing rabbits. If you know about rabbits’ lives and seasonal habitat needs, it is easier to understand how to manage their habitat.
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