JAKARTA (Reuters) - One of the world’s rarest rabbits has been captured on camera in Indonesia’s rainforests for only the third time ever, a leading conservation group said on Thursday.
The Sumatran striped rabbit — a little over a foot long and chalk colored with dark brown stripes — is critically endangered and was last photographed in the Bukit Barisan Park in 2000, the World Conservation Society (WCF) said in a statement.
A program manager at WCF’s Indonesian office, Nick Brickle, said the rabbit was photographed in a forest in south Sumatra at the end of January.
“It is a nocturnal animal. Other than that, we do not know more about it,” Brickle told Reuters, describing it as about 30 cm (12 inches) long and similar in size to a small cat.
“They live in forests, up in the mountains. What you need to protect the rabbit is protect the forest.”
The WCF statement said the rabbit was only known to exist in the mountains of Sumatra and was thought to be the only representative of its genus.
In 1999 researchers discovered another striped rabbit in the Annamite Mountains straddling Laos and Vietnam, but although both seem similar in appearance genetic samples revealed that the two were separate species.