Rabbits live in various places around the world and automatically make burrows for themselves and other members of the group. In these areas, rabbits can escape predators, raise young ones, and rest safely in the heat of the day. However, considering that rabbits can live in very different environments, do rabbits burrow underground and live in them?
All rabbits do not live in burrows. Almost all rabbits dig holes known as burrows to create safe habitats for protection, rest, and storage. Although most rabbits live in burrows, Cottontail Rabbits make shallow, underground shelters known as winter hide and autumn forms.
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Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes?
- The fact that rabbits dig holes means that they are considered predators, such as moles, gophers, groundhogs, and other mammals.
- Rabbits dig holes to protect themselves from predators, such as shelter from bad weather, and to feel safe and secure. Rabbits are extremely resilient animals and dig holes to guard their food or other resources for predators.
- The holes that rabbits dig are different places where they are born and raise their young so that they do not threaten and meet other members of the colony when they are present.
- This is because rabbits dig their burrows near food sources. It is close enough to their burrows to quickly retreat home for safety when needed. Rabbits do not usually eat outside this selected area, as a nearby hole usually ensures their survival.
How Deep Rabbits Burrow Underground?
The average rabbit hole is between one and two feet deep, but in some cases, the holes can be up to 15 feet deep. However, many factors can contribute to the overall depth of a rabbit hole including the surrounding area, soil type, and the number of rabbits living there.
Rabbit pits or warrens can be found in a variety of places, including:
- The forest
- Small wood
Because resources vary greatly between these areas, as well as the depth of holes dug for rabbits there.
For example, if a rabbit comes from a forest where the soil is not easily packed, it can often form large channels that are especially useful for warren, which inhabits many members. Conversely, if a rabbit digs a hole in the muddy soil that you may find in grassy areas or near water sources, then the hole or warren will usually not be small and very difficult.
Of course, with more colonial rabbits, more space is needed for warren, and when you dig deeper you will have to dig in to make them all secure. Therefore, the size of the colony is also important.
Do Wild Rabbits Live Underground in Burrow?
Many wild rabbits live underground in holes or crevices. Pits are the most efficient underground shelters that ensure the safety and survival of rabbits. Although the depth and length of the rabbit hole will vary, the holes will usually be 1-2 feet underground so that rabbits can quickly hide and escape predators.
Burrowing Exception of the Cottontail Rabbit
Cottontail Rabbit is the only species of rabbit that does not crawl underground to make a hole or a warren. Instead, they followed the rabbit’s example and built shallow, shallow shelters known as forms.
These forms are usually made under a brush or other leaves to cover and fill with lumps of wool, straw, or other soft material that Cottontail can find. Sometimes, those rabbits will opt for an old woodchuck or gopher holes instead of creating their form.
This practice is more common in Cottontails colonies that require more warren areas than a small shelter for themselves.
Do rabbits burrow underground?
Considering wild rabbits naturally dig holes to build their natural habitats. Domesticated rabbit owners may wonder do their rabbits burrow underground?.
Like wild rabbits, domesticated rabbits automatically dig holes. Digging gives pet rabbits exercise which provides mental stimulation. It helps rabbits feel safe and secure. While many owners allow their rabbits to dig holes in the yard, a digging box is a great way to let your pet dig into their house.
Well, some rabbits dig to enjoy the pure, and it’s okay to let them dig the way they like.
The scientific name of the European rabbit is Oryctolagus cuniculus, while “Orycto” translates “digger,” “lagus” translates “hare,” and “cuniculus” translates as “subway.” This perfectly summarizes the animal and easily responds that it lives in holes.
If the rabbit does not need food or mating, it often digs many underground tunnels to find a hole or warren where it can sleep, raise its young, and hide peacefully. So, the next time you look for a rabbit that is sleeping in the wild, you will want to turn your eyes to the ground and look at its open underground habitat.