Wild Guide: Eastern Cottontail

By MDC | December 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: December 2023

The eastern cottontail is a medium-sized rabbit with long ears, large hind legs, shorter front legs, a short fluffy tail, and soft fur. Eastern cottontails prefer open brushy or forest-border cover. While they may venture into the open, they usually don’t go far from brushy or dense weedy cover. Providing good habitat is the key to increasing cottontail populations.

Did You Know?

Cottontails sometimes damage the edges of crop fields, and in winter when other foods are scarce, they may damage orchard or ornamental trees. However, rabbits constitute an important link in the food chain of life by converting plant food into animal matter.

Eastern cottontail rabbit in grassy field
Eastern Cottontail

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