Discovery of the Elusive Annamite Striped Rabbit: Researchers Locate World’s Rarest Rabbit in Record Time

A team of UK researchers embarked on a three-month adventure to find the elusive Annamite striped rabbit, one of the world’s rarest rabbits. Surprisingly, they managed to spot the rabbit on their very first night in the forests of Laos and Vietnam. This rare creature was originally discovered by Dr. Diana Bell from the University of East Anglia back in 1999, but sightings have been extremely scarce since then. Sarah Woodfin, a student pursuing a Masters in Applied Ecology and Conservation at UEA, led the expedition to track the rabbit and explore its habitat in more detail.

The Annamite striped rabbit, pictured, lives in the forests of Laos and Vietnam and was first documented in 1999

The Annamite striped rabbit, a rare creature found in the forests of Laos and Vietnam, was first officially documented in 1999. The encounter with this elusive animal was truly unexpected for one researcher, who never imagined she would have the chance to get up close and personal with one. On the first night of her trip, the rabbit was spotted hopping along a river bank, munching on vegetation. It was eventually caught and brought back to the camp, where the team marveled at its beauty. Despite the initial shock, the researcher was delighted to study and photograph the rabbit before releasing it back into its natural habitat. The experience left her in awe, as she never imagined she would have the opportunity to interact with such a magnificent animal.

Researcher Sarah Woodfin set out on a three-month expedition to track the rabbit and study its habitat

Sarah Woodfin, a dedicated researcher, embarked on a thrilling three-month journey to study and track the enigmatic rabbit species. Despite her lifelong experience of caring for pet rabbits, this expedition offered a unique and unforgettable experience for her. Prior to her expedition, images of the rabbit had been captured by motion-sensitive ‘camera traps’. Venturing into the WWF conservation area, Ms. Woodfin meticulously surveyed and analyzed the rabbit’s habitat and the surrounding vegetation. Her goal now is to utilize this valuable information to create a model predicting the potential distribution of the rabbit. This model will support ongoing conservation efforts in the area. Ms. Woodfin expressed her fascination with the Annamite Striped rabbit, highlighting its genetic uniqueness from other rabbit species. Concerned about its potential vulnerability to extinction due to deforestation and hunting, she emphasized the urgency of understanding and protecting this species. In her words, she stressed the importance of gathering as much knowledge as possible about the rabbit to assess its conservation status accurately and implement effective conservation strategies.Species of the Week: Sumatran Striped Rabbit - EDGE of Existence


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