You may not know this, but those cute little rabbits with their little white tails hopping all over the countryside, are not native to the area. What you’re seeing is the Eastern Cottontail. It was introduced to the Hudson River Valley in the early 1900s and hopped its way into Vermont in the 1960s.
The New England Cottontail rabbit, our native species, is basically gone around here. The population is zero in Vermont, below 100 in New Hampshire, and fewer than 500 still exist in Maine. But a group of scientists would like to help the New England Cottontail return to Vermont. Bill Kilpatrick is the Howard Professor of Zoology and Natural History at the University of Vermont he spoke with VPR’s Jane Lindholm about the possibility of bringing back the rabbit.