Wildlife Camera Captures Riparian Brush Rabbits at Dos Rios Ranch
By Julie Rentner
I am so pleased to announce that thanks to a generous loan of wildlife cameras from a professor at UC Davis, River Partners’ summer interns captured the attached images of riparian brush rabbits (RBR) at Dos Rios Ranch!
While adjacent to the San Juaquin River National Wildlife Refuge (SJRNWR) so presumably inhabited by RBR, we have not had proof that RBR were at Dos Rios Ranch since several years ago when a radio collared rabbit was tracked there by researchers from the Endangered Species Recovery Program (ESRP) at CSU Stanislaus.
This rabbit was photographed in remnant riparian habitat along the Tuolumne River, over a mile and across the river from known populations on July 18, 2014. The camera is still set up, and is capturing additional images, so we’ll certainly turn up more if there are more rabbits out there.
As we continue to work to restore flood-safe high-quality habitat for RBR at Dos Rios and Hidden Valley Ranches, we’ll also need to answer questions about the genetics of these rabbits (are they an expansion of the reintroduced rabbits from SJRNWR who somehow swam across the river, or a remnant natural population?) as well as their distribution across the 2,100-acre property. We hope to work with ESRP and all of you to develop a better understanding of the situation and to provide the best possible restoration for this species.
A huge THANK YOU goes out to our partners for the role you’ve played in protecting and restoring habitat for this endangered species.