Playboy Bunnies Close to Extinction

Sylvilagus palustris hefneri is a now-endangered species of rabbit named in honor of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. University of Central Florida graduate teaching assistant Rosanna Tursi is studying the genetic diversity of the species in the Florida Everglades, of which there may be only 300 rabbits remaining.
Hefneri is the most recently recognized subspecies of the marsh rabbit. It's small with short, dark brown fur and a grayish-white belly. Discovered in 1984, the subspecies was named in honor of Hefner after his organization donated money to support fieldwork on the rabbits. Good for Hef!

His namesake bunnies live in an island environment and are dependent on specific grasses and plants for feeding, nesting and shelter. Population growth and development in their area has led to the death of the bunnies at the hands of vehicles or domestic animals. Their natural habitat also is being destroyed. -via Digg

(image credit: Rosanna Tursi)

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