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Raising this year's crop of urban buns

Two bunnies in their nest in the West End

A roving UHub photographer reports these two mini-buns seem to be doing well in one of the more vegetated patches near Whittier Place in the West End Apartments.

Young rabbit

He adds: "The mom is around and they seem relatively safe."

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Comments

I have only had a dog for a few years, so walk around the neighborhood a lot more than I used to these days. However, I still feel like there are more rabbits around Roslindale than there used to be - what do you all think? More observations or more rabbits to be observed?

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Voting closed 15

That's the case on Fairmount Hill in HP. Tons of buns every morning and evening...

It's good for this pair that Jerry Rappaport is gone. He'd want to charge rent or condo fees if he knew they slept on his swards.

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There didn't used to be any wild rabbits around. I think they started showing up in the past decade.

I have a theory that involves raccoons. They used to be everywhere, but then they seem to have virtually vanished. I suspect the growing population of foxes and coyotes reduced the raccoons. I think previously the raccoons may have reduced the number of rabbits (a friend from west of the city just this past week sent me a video of a 'coon eating what appeared to be a small mammal. Her guess was a baby rabbit).

So I blame the coyotes.

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The last few years in areas where I used to see rats, I now see bunnies (and no rats).

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I also wonder whether the construction of more parks that are closer to each other has aided them in penetrating deeper into the city. Never used to seem them downtown, but they are thick as thieves along the greenway and harbor walk these days.

While there isn't a single huge amount of green space in the area, there are patches of green from the waterfront to the blue hills separated by streets and not miles of pavement.

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My neighborhood in HP is overrun with bunnies. I see two or three on my walks around.

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And this is a relatively new phenomenon. I would never see rabbits in Roslindale growing up last century. By the time I was engaged to my wife (around 2004) I started seeing them in the Arboretum, but not by my house. Say 8 years ago I would see them in other places, but it was rare. I had an incident in either 2018 or 2019 when I was running on Truman Parkway at night and almost stepped on a rabbit. By the time the pandemic hit, not seeing a rabbit on my runs was a rarity. Last week, I startled one in the yard. In short, they're taking over.

They're a non-native species, so they are invasive. I saw on facebook that some Roslindale neighbor is chagrined that someone's cat has been killing rabbits she's been feeding. All I can say is that replacements are on the way.

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Moved here in 2004 myself, noticed since COVID.

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I saw more than two dozen of them yesterday while I was out for a walk in the Needham/Wellesley area.

They are, of course, Sylvilagus floridanus, the eastern cottontail, and not the native S. transitionalis, the endangered New England cottontail. Eastern cottontails were imported in the early twentieth century from Ohio by people who wanted something to hunt. The New England cottontail, being secretive and preferring dense undergrowth, was never around when people wanted to shoot it. Now that most of its habitat has been destroyed, it no longer occurs in much of its former range.

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The multiply like, ah, rabbits.

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