Remarkable Rabbits

From playful mating rituals to cunning survival strategies, there’s remarkable diversity among the world’s rabbits and hares.
Available on CBC Gem

Remarkable Rabbits

Nature of Things

Almost every continent on Earth is home to a tenacious family of creatures so adorable that it rarely gets the respect it deserves.

Rabbits and hares are best known for sporting pocket watches and velveteen coats as beloved storybook characters, and for their impressive ability to procreate.

But if you delve deeper, you’ll see that real rabbits and hares are far more fascinating than you ever imagined.

These keystone species play a vital role in ecosystems from the Rocky Mountains to the deserts of Arizona to the northern reaches of Canada’s frozen boreal forest to the concrete jungle of downtown Chicago.

There are more than 60 different kinds of wild rabbits and hares, but despite their remarkable ability to reproduce, many species are actually in danger of being eradicated.

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In Remarkable Rabbits, we’ll explore the close relationships rabbits and hares have with the landscapes they call home. We’ll learn how hares are more than just a rabbit of another colour, and we’ll take to the water to learn how the swamp rabbit — the Michael Phelps of the rabbit world — has managed to survive in its ever-changing environment.

We’ll also join scientists in the field as they work tirelessly to save native rabbit species from the brink of extinction and reveal groundbreaking new discoveries about how snowshoe hares — the seemingly vulnerable balls of fur that are on many animals’ dinner menus — turn the tables on their predators and control the game.

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Remarkable Rabbits challenges the common misconception that the world is awash with bunnies, as we explore the threats rabbits and hares face in the wild, from habitat loss to climate change.

But it also shows why, even though their numbers are down, we shouldn’t count these important and underrated animals out. For it’s the rabbits and hares that can adapt, the ones that can move and change with the times, that may prove themselves to be the ultimate survivors.