Similar to bobwhite quail, although not as severe, rabbit
populations have declined in Mississippi during the last 50 years.
There are two species of rabbits found in Mississippi, the
cottontail rabbit (sometimes called a hillbilly) and the swamp
rabbit (sometimes called a cane-cutter). Both species are
relatively common to all regions of the state, but cottontails are
probably the most widely distributed and most numerous. Like quail,
declining rabbit populations have been mostly due to changes in
land use and management.
Despite the loss of habitat and declining rabbit populations,
local rabbit populations can be increased with planned habitat
management at proper scales. Habitat management practices that
produce the proper cover resources required by rabbits are
essential to increase local rabbit populations.
The rabbit program does not stock rabbits. Information on
managing habitat for rabbits can be found under the Habitat and
Population Management section below. Technical assistance is
also available for managing land for rabbit habitat.
Small Game Program
Habitat and Population Management