Desert Cottontail

Sylvilagus audubonii

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  • Desert Cottontail |  Photo: Carly Lesser & Art Drauglis
  • Desert Cottontail |  Photo: Carly Lesser & Art Drauglis by v8.6m

Desert Cottontail Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Other names

Audubon's Cottontail






Desert Cottontails are generally between 12 and 25 inches in length.


up to 7 years


Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) facts, habitat, diet, range, cottontail pictures and more to help you learn to identify the desert mammal.




Given the right climate, Desert Cottontails can breed year round. Young mature fast and can reproduce quickly, often within a several months.


Rocky Mountains south to Mexico.

Number of Offspring

2-6 bunnies.

Observation Tips

Any of Utah's National Parks offer ample opportunity to observe Desert Cottontails in the wild.

What does the Desert Cottontail look like?

Desert Cottontails have grayish brown fur on their upper bodies and crisp white fur on their bellies. They are slightly larger with bigger ears and a darker coloration than common cottontails. Females tend to be slightly larger.

Desert Cottontail Habitat


Desert Cottontail Facts

Desert Cottontails are mainly active during sunrise and sunset, spending the heat of the day in cool burrows. They are herbivores and when conditions are right will put truth to the old tale of breeding like rabbits, and breed year round. They are considered a game animal by most Wildlife Departments, but are also an important prey for Coyotes, Bobcats, Foxes and Birds of Prey. When danger is in the air, Desert Cottontails will raise their tails, revealing a white patch of cottony fur. This sends a warning signal to other rabbits that predators are nearby.

See also