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Feds release pygmy rabbit plan

Feds release pygmy rabbit plan

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday released its final recovery plan for the endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit.

The plan recommended continuing many recovery efforts already under way. Those include releases of captive-bred animals into the wild, relocating pygmy rabbits from places outside the Columbia Basin, and semi-controlled field breeding measures.

It also called for surveys to determine if pygmy rabbits may exist in areas not covered in earlier surveys.

Pygmy rabbits are the smallest rabbits in North America, with adults weighing about one pound and growing to less than a foot long.

Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits are believed to be extinct in the wild. The last known individuals were captured in 2004 for a breeding program intended to boost numbers for eventual reintroduction.

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