Captured on camera

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Mwitu, The Endangered Wildlife Trust’s mascot, shares some wonderful news with us! 

Everyone loves to capture milestones on camera, and there’s nothing cuter than baby photos, right? Riverine rabbit baby photos!

A mother riverine rabbit and her kits.

My colleagues at the Endangered Wildlife Trust are as excited as proud parents to have captured the first ever photographic evidence of riverine rabbit babies, known as kits, with their mother.

This unbelievable image was captured on a camera trap near Loxton in the Northern Cape, and showed a mother riverine rabbit and two kits. What’s really interesting is, this is in line with previous research that has suggested these elusive rabbits, rather than breeding like the proverbial bunnies, tend to have only one or two kits.

To make this news even more exciting, the area where this image was captured was previously data deficient. No sightings of riverine rabbit were previously recorded on this farm.

The discovery takes us one step closer to closing the knowledge gaps of the complete distribution range for the species and provides us with more information on their ecology.

The team in our Drylands Conservation Programme significantly increased their camera trapping activities in 2019, in both the northern and southern populations of riverine rabbits. This has paid off, because it has led to several exciting developments, such as the confirmation of the new Baviaanskloof population, and a far greater understanding of the species and their use of habitat.

We’re very grateful to our funders, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and the Zoologischen Gesellschaft für Arten und Populationsschutz (ZGAP), for providing ongoing support for our innovative endeavours to uncover the secrets of the iconic riverine rabbit.

Watch this space for more!
‘Til next time
Mwitu

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