Desert cottontail across from Putah Creek Lodge in the Arboretum Lagomorphs (the taxonomic family that includes cottontail rabbits and jackrabbits/hares) are part of the wildlife that can be seen all around Davis. The northwest corner of 80 and Mace Boulevard and West Davis are full of them, darting from headlights at night.

Per the California Department of Fish and Game range maps, there are two lagomorph species native to Davis and one species native elsewhere in Yolo County:

Common Name Taxonomic Classification Range in Yolo County
Black-Tailed Jackrabbit Lepus californicus entire county
Desert Cottontail Sylvilagus audubonii entire county

Brush Rabbit

Sylvilagus bachmani foothills

Black-Tailed Jackrabbit


The Black-Tailed Jackrabbit is commonly found around Davis in any agricultural or open field.


If you spot a smaller bunny that tends to live in the bushes around central campus and is content to subsist on lawn grass, it's probably a Desert Cottontail.

In Yolo County, brush rabbits are found only in the foothills on the western edge of the county.

Domestic Rabbits


Some of the local 4-H Clubs have rabbit programs and members raise them and show them at Spring Fair. Be aware that the guidelines of care for showing rabbits recommended by the ARBA (keeping them intact, diet, cage size, etc.) are not at all in line with (and usually directly contradictory to) what veterinarians recommend for optimal health.


Domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) can be purchased at Ace Garden & Pet, but instead of creating demand for breeders and contributing to overpopulation, please consider adopting abandoned bunnies from Yolo County Animal Shelter, Friends of Unwanted Rabbits (Sacramento), or Sacramento House Rabbit Society. These rabbits come fixed, which saves you hundreds of dollars in surgery costs.


Be aware that companion rabbits live 8-12 years if cared for properly. If you are not ready for a ten-year commitment, don't get a pet. Bunnies should have several hours of exercise time each day (which is easy for caretakers who adhere to a cage-free philosophy), fresh vegetables, and unlimited hay. Rabbits should never live in a backyard hutch, especially in the California heat, since they can get heatstroke in temperatures exceeding 80 degrees. Spaying/neutering your rabbit is also essential to promoting their health and behavior, even if they aren't exposed to rabbits of the opposite sex. Visit the national House Rabbit Society website for more detailed care instructions, tips on litter-training, housing ideas, and information about the downfalls of wood shavings, certain litters, and wire-floor cages.

Rabbits are classified as exotic pets and therefore most veterinarians do not have adequate training to properly diagnose and treat health issues. You can find exotic vets at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

There are also a few pet bunnies on the wiki.


You must be logged in to comment on this page. Please log in.

Dude, that's a hare. - LenaGranik

Jackrabbits are hares (common names often don't reflect proper classification). Both rabbits and hares are subspecies of Lagomorpha -aec :)

Subgenera, Lagomorpha is a family name not a genus or species name. Subspecies are variants within 1 species and are noted as a 3rd name Genus species subspecies - AlexMandel

In fact, when I look up the word "rabbit" one of the definitions I find is "hare". -Jevan

For the record, all hares are rabbits, but all rabbits are not hares. Domesticated breeds are not considered to be hares and look completely different. Wild rabbits however, are generally considered to be hares. -AllisonEriksen

This sounds like a system more likely to be used in the pet trade, see edits to the above article for clarification on the classification of species.

There is a family of rabbits near the Hickey Gym, and the death star. They live in the bushes. —StevenDaubert

I've spotted a small, brown rabbit (not a jackrabbit/hare) near the Tercero dorms and one near Kemper Hall a few weeks later. I suppose it could be the same rabbit, since those buildings are not a great distance from one another. -AnnaJones

Another pair of small rabbits are by the Bike Barn. I've seen them on a couple occasions, and they seem pretty habituated to people going back and forth (they didn't bolt for cover as I rode by). Maybe they live around Chem? Inquiring on the doings of some professor? —KevinChin

2009-01-24 16:02:58   yes, Tercero, the Aarboretum, and the bushes near Hickey Gym are where u can find them on campus. —BryceH

2009-04-13 13:32:11   Does anyone know of any apartment complexes with managers who are OK with litter-trained house rabbits? Perhaps it is just better to sneak him in as a cat... Thanks! —nataliesadler

2011-09-29 20:01:02   The Bush Rabbit, a subspecies of cottontail rabbit can frequently be found at night near some bushes on the bike trail that runs north from the west edge of the park that includes the two ponds in North Star, through a bicycle underpass to the fields north of Davis. The bush is on the west side of the bike path just north of the path that goes to the second street south of the fields, Waxwing Place. The rabbits will frequently freeze as you approach. I have seen as many as three at this location. —Richard-Bruce

2012-01-30 00:13:25   Are the Brush Rabbit's good eats? —CarlosOverstreet