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Swamp Rabbit

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The Swamp Rabbit of Missouri
LaShonda Howard
University of Phoenix
BIO/101
August 10, 2015
Linda Mottison

(2015, February 6).
Swamp Rabbit of Missouri
Introduction
The (Sylvilagus aquaticus) or Swamp Rabbit, a native of Missouri, is by far the largest of the cottontail family. While they are the largest, they have the smallest ears of them all. The term “cottontail” is the defining character trait of the tail of the rabbit when raised that resembles a piece of fluffy cotton. Even though the swamp rabbit looks similar to other eastern cottontails, they are larger and darker in color – dark brown, rust and sometimes black. Once densely populating the southern United States frequently along the mighty Mississippi, Swamp rabbits are found abiding in lowlands, swamps, floodplains, and marshlands. The swamp rabbit is playing impactful roles in both the ecosystem and economic system. However, the extensive hunt of the species along with human development and expansion continues to erode the habitat and creates obstacles for survival (2013). The decline, teetering on extinction in some places, will continue unless we push the habitat needs to the forefront. One such place in Missouri is the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Missouri.
Environment Description and Role of Organism
Never more than two kilometers away from water, the very moist, humid, and often hot environment of the Swamp Rabbit is the wetlands. They prefer residing in areas such as floodplains, swamps, river bottoms, lake borders, cane thickets, riparian areas, and other lowland areas (2015). Fallen trees and limbs cover these places and provide the vegetation needed. Swamp Rabbit are herbivores and eat what is available which never limits their food supply unless their habitat is limited. While Swamp Rabbits prefer locations near water, they do use upland sites abandoned by other...

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