Desert Cottontail


Recognizable by its white fluffy tail, orange nape, and dark rimmed ears, the Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) is common throughout San Diego County. This herbivore eats a wide variety of plants, including grasses, forbs, shrubs, and even cacti in the deserts, orchards, and scrublands of our region.

Throughout California and parts of the North American west, they are often found in groups. A number of animals prey on the Desert Cottontail, including predators like coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, and wolves as well as birds of prey like owls and raptors.

Learn more about the Desert Cottontail at Animal Diversity Web at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

PHOTO CREDIT: John Mitchell