Pattern of Dispersion of Young Wild Rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus L., in Relation to Burrows

Authors

  • Augusto F. Vitale

    Corresponding author
    1. Culterty Field Station Department of Zoology, University of Aberdeen
      Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, 99164–4830, U.S.A
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Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, 99164–4830, U.S.A

Abstract

The development of dispersion in relation to burrows of young rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus L., was studied in a sand dune habitat between May and September 1984–1985. Generally, young rabbits did not show a close association with their original burrow. From the first week of life on the surface they used different burrows as well as the original one. No significant age-related changes in the mean distance from different kinds of burrows were observed. The mean distance from the nearest burrow remained always under 3 m, but this distance may have been due largely to the high density of burrows. The apparent freedom of movements of young rabbits around different burrows may be related to the social system of the adults in a sand dune habitat.

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