Marsh Rabbit

Marsh Rabbit

Marsh Rabbit Range Map (USA)
Marsh Rabbit Range Map (USA)
Attribution: IUCN, species assessors & spatial data authors

Latin Name Sylvilagus palustris
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location USA
Colour Dark Brown - Reddish/Brown
Length 42 - 44 cms (16.5 - 17.3 inches)
Tail -
Weight 1.2 - 2.2 Kgs (2.6 - 4.9 lbs)
Life Expectancy Up to 4 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Marsh Rabbits are medium sized rabbits that have a body length between 42 and 44 cms (16.5 - 17.3 inches) and they weigh between 1.2 and 2.2 kgs (2.6 - 4.9 lbs).

They are dark brown to reddish brown in colour with a dark coloured underside. Unlike other cottontails, Marsh Rabbits have a dark coloured underside on their tail. Their rounded ears are short and they have small feet.

They are good swimmers and they often dive into water to escape predators.


Marsh Rabbits are found in lowland, marshy areas near to a permanent source of water in south eastern USA. They are nocturnal and solitary, but individuals may be seen gathered together in areas that have plenty of resources.


Marsh Rabbits feed on a variety of vegetation, such as grasses, fruits and bulbs. During the winter months they will also feed on twigs and bark.


Marsh Rabbits breed from February to September but they are known to breed throughout the year in southern Florida. They produce 3 - 4 litters per year and after a gestation period of 28 - 37 days, they will give birth to 2 - 5 young.

At birth the young rabbits are helpless but they grow quickly and are weaned at 12 - 15 days old. They reach sexual maturity at around 7 months old.


Predators of Marsh Rabbits include snakes, owls, birds of prey, bobcats, foxes and red wolves.


Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit
(Sylvilagus palustris hefneri)

Upper Keys Marsh Rabbit
(Sylvilagus palustris paludicola)

Marsh Rabbit
(Sylvilagus palustris palustris)

Interesting Facts

The subspecies Sylvilagus palustris hefneri was named after Hugh Hefner.

Similar Animals

Swamp Rabbit
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit
Omilteme Cottontail
Dice's Cottontail
Mexican Cottontail
Eastern Cottontail
Desert Cottontail

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