Rabbit – Oryctolagus cuniculus
Social groups vary from a single pair to up to 30 rabbits using the same warren. Within large groups there is a distinct social hierarchy. Origins of status are not known. The most dominant males, known as bucks, have priority of access to females, known as does. The most dominant does have access to the best nest sites. Bucks and does seldom fight with each other. Competition between does for nest sites can lead to serious injuries and death. In groups with more than one female and more than one male, rabbits are not monogamous. Lower ranking rabbits may be forced to breed in single entrance breeding “stops” away from the main burrows where they and their young are more vulnerable to predators.
kittens are born blind, deaf and almost hairless. Their eyes open at 10 days, they begin to appear at the burrow entrance at 18 days and are weaned at 21-25 days. Bucks are able to mate at 4 months, does at 3.5 months. Young rabbits are preyed on by badgers, buzzards and weasels. Rabbits of all ages are taken by foxes, cats, stoats and polecats.