Head and body length: 39.7 - 53 cm, tail: 2 - 3.5 cm
2 - 2.9 kg
Estimated at 2,000 - 4,800 on the Amami-oshima island and 120 - 300 on the Tokuno-shima island
Prefers dense forests; ranges from sea level to mountaintops
Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Meet a true original. The Amami rabbit, found only on two isolated islands in southern Japan, has some of the most primitive characteristics found in living rabbits. Its ears, hind feet and tail are short, while its curved claws are formidably heavy and strong. It is also unusual in its method of communication, which involves both vocalizations and the beating of the ground with its hind limbs. At dusk, just before becoming active, it appears at the entrance to its burrow and sends its calls ringing throughout the valleys. But bedeviled by introduced predators and suffering from severe habitat loss, this remarkable rabbit is in danger of meeting its untimely end.