General Information

  • There are 3 species of rabbits in San Diego. The Cottontail and Jackrabbit are the most common. The Brush rabbit is the third species.
  • Rabbits eat flower and vegetable plants in spring and summer and the bark of fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs in the fall and winter.
  • Cottontails like to live on the edge of open areas, which is why they are often found in suburban areas.
  • Almost every predator feeds on rabbits. Birds of Prey are the biggest threat.
  • Rabbits build their nests about ground and mothers tend to stay away from the nest except at dawn and dusk for feeding. This keeps predators away from the nest.
  • Jackrabbits are born fully furred with open eyes and can fend for themselves right away.  
  • Cottontails are born blind and hairless.
  • Rabbits can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hours and run in a zig-zag pattern to confuse predators.

Ways to Discourage

  • Plant-eating.  First be sure it is a rabbit.  If edges of leaves are jagged it is not a rabbit.
  • They tend to eat at dawn and dusk.
  • A well-constructed fence is the most effective way to protect plants. Two-foot high chicken wire supported by posts every six to eight feet is strong enough to keep rabbits out. Stake the bottom securely to the ground to prevent rabbits from pushing underneath it.
  • Tree guards will protect tree bark.
  • Remove cover (vine thickets, tall grass, and shrub cover) around gardens and orchards so rabbits don’t have escape cover. They will spend less time—and eat less food—where they feel unsafe