The last couple of years as we've been cleaning up the place (getting rid of wood piles, cutting the grass shorter) there have been a ton of rabbits around. All of a sudden this summer the rabbits are all gone and their dens have been taken over by prairie dogs or some sort of a ground squirrel.
We've been wondering why this happened. There have always been plenty of coyotes around, last year there was an owl roosting in a tree regularly and this year a family of hawks built a nest there. There was some sort of a weasel there last year as well, but haven't seen him this year. Not sure if specific predators play a role or not.
Any theories? Do prairie dogs run off rabbits or does it have something to do with the predators? Is this just cyclical due to rabbit populations decreasing?
Just a wag....loss of habitat?
I've just been surprised that the dogs completely took over, living in the Denver suburbs there are rabbits everywhere around our yards which are short grass. They can get by with some hiding spots and there are still plenty at the ranch. We haven't cleaned up all the woodpiles, and there are some old time sheds that animals can live in.
Seems like the dogs ran them out of town somehow. Wondering if there is some relationship between the two where sometimes the dogs can run the rabbits off?
Short grass allows prairie dogs to see. You basically invited them in, especially if there's an established colony nearby.
The raptors hunt visually, thus short grass and rabbits getting used to a new environment = easy pickings.
So in short you "chased" the rabbits off.
An area I antelope hunt in Wyo had a lot of rabbits where I was camping. Not much for cover there but a lot of rock piles.
Tons of them here this year.
I got a kick out of the little critters and luv taking pot shot them with my stickbow, but never killed one. They actually got to know me personally and would immediately run for cover when they see me coming, yet other neighbors they're barely pay attention too...8^)
They're quick little suckers to shoot at and quick to learn, but anyhow, I seen all kinds of wildlife due to that town, from the dogs themselves, to rabbits, and other ground dwelling creatures to about every predator the Denver area had to offer. Was nothing to see a coyote patrol around the town during the middle of the day in broad daylight. Am talking only a few yards from the interstate and shopping plazas. Heck, one year even a litter of fox pups were raised there... There was a lot of wildlife activity due to that prairie dog town...
No "rabitat" and the bunnies get eaten.
Too much cover and the p-dogs get eaten.
I'd rather deal with the rabbits....fewer fleas and good to eat.
I don't really want prairie dogs either, we might need to take some of them out. Rabbits would be my preference.