Size

The body of the Riverine Rabbit is between 337 and 470 mm long, with an added tail length of 70 to 108 mm. The long ears stand at about 115 mm in length.

Weight

The female weighs slightly more than the male. Females average around 1.8 kg, while males are generally around the 1.5 kg mark.

Habitat

The Riverine Rabbit lives in a specialised zone known as riparian, which refers to the area between the land and a river. This fine alluvial soil of the floodplains is ideal for the rabbits’ needs, which include building stable burrows in which to breed and live.

Distribution

It is a rare and wondrous thing to spot the Riverine Rabbit. It is only found in the southern and central parts of the Karoo Desert.

Diet - Herbivores

The Riverine Rabbit feeds on the leaves and flowers of the wild vegetation in its habitat. During the rainy season, it will include the soft, sweet grass in its diet too.

Socialization

The Riverine Rabbit is a nocturnal animal. During the day, it conceals itself in shallow scrapes under the bushes. They are polygamous, while they live and browse for food as solo creatures. They have intrasexually exclusive home ranges; the males’ home ranges overlap a little with those of the various females.

Reproduction

Unlike other rabbits, the beautiful Riverine Rabbit has a particularly slow breeding rate, with only one or two babies being born to a female throughout the course of an entire year. These rabbits will mate with a number of individuals, and are the only known rabbit species to make nests for the baby. Very rarely, two kits may be born at once.

Gestation

The Riverine Rabbit has a gestation period of around 35 days.

Life Expectancy

This rabbit has a lifespan in the wild of only three, occasionally four, years.

Threats

The Riverine Rabbit is listed as being Critically Endangered on the IUCN list. It is threatened by the agricultural development of its natural habitat, which has left much of it overgrazed and decimated.​