Foster Creek Conservation District
Foster Creek Conservation District

Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit     (Brachylagus idahoensis)

This webpage is currently under construction - more materials will be added to it throughout 2020.  In the meantime, contact us at (509) 888-6372 if you have any questions or need further resources. 

Collection of Pygmy Rabbit Resources

Many federal, state, and local organizations and companies have partnerships to work towards the recovery of Washington's endangered pygmy rabbit.  A variety of resources are below:

Conservation Northwest

Conservation Northwest is working to conserve and improve pygmy rabbit habitat.  Their website provides information about the latest pygmy rabbit news, conservation and recovery efforts in Washington, and fun facts about the small species.

Oregon Zoo

In 2002, the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits were at the verge of extinction.  To save the recently endangered rabbits, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife requested that the Oregon Zoo develope an in-house breeding program.  Only 10 years later, the program goal was achieved!  Captive-bred rabbits were reintroduced and surviving in their wild habitat.  Eventually, the rabbits established burrow systems and started giving birth to new offspring in the wild.

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife manages the remaining population of pygmies in Washington.  Their website provides information about the rabbit's description and range, climate vulnerability, and conservation efforts.  Additionally, WDFW has information about sagebrush shrub-steppe landscapes along with facts and tips about all rabbits found in Washington. 

If you see this species, please share your observations using the WDFW Wildlife Reporting Tool or email them at wildlife.data@dfw.wa.gov.  If possible, be sure to include a photo of the rabbit for species identification and the location of your observation using latitude / longitude coordinates. 

Lesson Plans

Download a Youth Activity Book for FREE

This activity book is an interactive lesson plan for students and teachers wishing to learn more about the endangered pygmy rabbit in Washington State.  Our staff is available to provide either an in-the-classroom or extracurricular presentation guided by the activity book.  Lessons can be expanded to include specific topics of interest to help fit your curriculum!

This activity book is designed for a 8.5" x 14" layout. 

Please contact Elizabeth, ejackson@fostercreekcd.org, if you need a 8.5" x 11" layout.  Foster Creek CD can provide your students with black and white copies of this activity book if you scheduled an in-person presentation with us.

Pygmy Rabbit Activity Book, grades K-8
Students can learn and retain important facts about Washington's pygmy rabbit as they read through this new activity book. The pictures and puzzles make it a fun, interactive event for all ages.
ACTIVITY BOOK_K-8_Pygmy rabbits in Washi[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [4.5 MB]
Pygmy Rabbit Activity Book, grades 9-12
This activity book features more advanced vocabulary for high school students and more difficult puzzles to reinforce the lessons.
ACTIVITY BOOK_9-12_Pygmy rabbits in Wash[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [4.5 MB]

Bureau of Land Management: Sagebrush Steppe Food Web Game

This food web game designed by the Bureau of Land Management is an easy, fun, and interactive way to have students learn and retain information about the various components of a food web in the sagebrush ecosystem.  Pygmy rabbits can be highlighted while playing the game.  Teachers can challenge student's critical thinking skills by removing or adding a specific plant or wildlife.  Teachers can have the students role play the components of the food web by purchasing costumes, such as a feather boa for an eagle, an owl mask for the owl, or a green scarf for the sagebrush.  Foster Creek CD already provides these materials when we give a presentation to students.  
This game is recommended for ages 6 and older in a classroom of 8 - 25 students.

IMAGE ABOVE: Example of four wildlife cards found in the sagebrush food web game.

Sagebrush Steppe Food Web Game
BLM_ID_SagebrushSteppeCards_2017_lowres.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.7 MB]

Example Questions: 
What happens if the rabbits are no longer present in the ecosystem?   
What if 'cheatgrass' was the only available food source?
What role do 'primary producers' play?
What role do 'primary consumers' play?
Which wildlife species are the top consumers?  How do you know?

Free Sagebrush Ecosystem Lesson Plans

The Inquiry, Exploration, and Service Learning in the Sagebrush Ecosystem curriculum explores ways to get your students connected to nature.  This free resource is published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, produced by Rick Reynolds and Engaging Every Student in partnership with over 50 partners, including Audubon Rockies, BLM, The Nature Conservancy, the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission, and Western states. 

Inquiry, Exploration & Service Learning in the Sagebrush Ecosystem Curriculum
This free Teacher's Guide for Grades 4-12 details 10 lesson plans about the sagebrush ecosystem. Adaptive lesson plans are provided to help teacher's engage their students in thinking critically about ways to conserve sagebrush landscapes. The lessons are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards. Content is emphasized on the Greater sage-grouse, common invasive plants, native plants, fire, and the human connection to sagebrush ecosystems.
Sagebrush_Ecosystem_Curriculum_Grades_4-[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [26.3 MB]

Illustrations featured in the free Sagebrush Ecosystem lesson plans:

Games, Puzzles, & Posters

The games and puzzles below are included the youth activity book, which is free to download.  

WORD SEARCH

Source: Word Search Generator,
https://worksheets.theteacherscorner.net/make-your-own/word-search/

CONNECT THE DOTS

Source: Clip art Library, http://clipart-library.com/

CRACK THE CODE

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Foster Creek Conservation District 203 S Rainier Waterville, WA 98858 509-888-6372 © Foster Creek CD