The Black-tailed Jackrabbit is a large, long-eared rabbit of the
open grasslands and desert scrub of the West. Its fur is a dark
buff color peppered with black, and its black-tipped ears are almost
the same length as its hind feet.
The Black-tailed Jackrabbit spends most of its day resting in a
scratched-out hollow in the ground. They are generally most active
at dusk and throughout the night. Under the cover of darkness, they
can forage with relative security.
Jackrabbits are strict vegetarians. During the spring and summer,
they feed on clover, alfalfa and other abundant greens. During the
lean fall and winter months, they subsist on woody and dried vegetation.
Jackrabbits always seem to be on their guard. They are very
alert to their surroundings and watchful of potential threats. They
rely on their speed to elude predators and, if they are lucky enough
to escape, they will flash the white underside of their tail to
alert other jackrabbits in the area.
Black-tailed Jackrabbits mate year round. They have one to four
litters per year with one to eight young per litter. Young jackrabbits
are born bright-eyed and active, and after only one month they can
fend for themselves. Jackrabbits may live up to eight years in the
wild but, like many other animals, they must contend with predators.
Hawks, Coyotes and badgers are among the predators that regularly
Black-tailed Jackrabbits can be found on brushlands, prairies and
meadows. They are often associated with pastures that have been
grazed by livestock. Unlike other animals that need dense brush
cover, jackrabbits use the high visibility of pasturelands to spot
predators before they spot them.
Jackrabbits are common throughout most of the western United States
and in Texas except for the far eastern portions.