Urban White-tailed Jackrabbits (Lepus townsendii) Eat Spike Plants (Cordyline australis) in Winter
Keywords:Lepus townsendii, White-tailed Jackrabbit, diet, ecology, animal behaviour, urban wildlife, Edmonton, garden plants, Cordyline australis
AbstractWe observed White-tailed Jackrabbits (Lepus townsendii) eating spike plants (Cordyline australis), a non-native ornamental garden plant, in our front yard within the city of Edmonton, Alberta. We have noted this persistent behaviour every winter between 2006-2007 and 2011-2012. By late January, the plants were usually eaten right down to the stem base. We suggest that the White-tailed Jackrabbits turn to this food source in winter when more preferred foods are lacking, are in short supply, or are not as readily accessible. Our observations add another plant species to the list of non-native plants consumed by White-tailed Jackrabbits.
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