Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

Have you noticed all the wild rabbits in Bellefonte? It seems like there are hordes of them everywhere you look. They don’t even get out of the road when I’m walking my dogs, LOL!

I’m wondering if this a normal occurrence in Bellefonte? I moved here from out in the country in Central New York. At night I could hear the coyotes gather for hunting, they’re probably what kept the rabbit population at bay.

After doing some research, I learned the eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) is the most common rabbit species in Pennsylvania. The bunnies’  are most active at dawn and dusk (when we’re out walking our dogs.) Cottontails typically live only 12 to 15 months says PennState Extension, but they have a high reproductive rate and can raise as many as six litters, averaging five young per litter, in a year.

Rabbits can feed on plants in your yard year round. They eat flowers and vegetables in spring and summer, and in fall and winter, they eat woody plants. Only a few garden crops, such as tomatoes, seem to be immune from rabbit problems. Rabbits will eat most flowers, but tender flower shoots such as young tulip stems are a favored meal. [PennState Extension]

In Pennsylvania, rabbits are classified as game animals and are protected as such. The Pennsylvania Game Commission grants exceptions to property owners, allowing them to trap or shoot rabbits outside the normal hunting season on their own property if damage is occurring. Consult the PA Game Commission for information regarding rabbit regulations.

Do you have problems with wild rabbits? Let us know in the comments below!