Amami Rabbit

Amami Rabbit Range Map (Japan)
Amami Rabbit Range Map (Japan)

Latin Name Pentalagus furnessi
Conservation Status Endangered
Location Japan
Colour Dark Brown
Length 42 - 51 cms (16.5 - 20 inches)
Tail 1 - 3.5 cms (0.4 - 1.4 inches)
Weight 2 - 3 Kgs (4.4 - 6.6 lbs)
Life Expectancy - Yrs

Main Characteristics

The Amami Rabbit has a body length between 42 and 51 cms (16.5 - 20 inches), a tail length between 1 and 3.5 cms (0.4 - 1.4 inches) and they weigh between 2 and 3 kgs (4.4 - 6.6 lbs).

They are a distinctive rabbit with a bulky body and dark brown fur. They have a pointed nose, small eyes and short ears. Their legs are short and they have long, curved claws that they use for digging holes.

Amami Rabbits communicate with each other using clicking sounds and calling noises, which is unusual among rabbit species.


Amami Rabbits are only found on Amami Ōshima and Tokunoshima, two small islands in the Ryukyu Archipelago south of Japan.

They are forest dwellers and they dig burrows to use as dens and nests. They are nocturnal and they use passages in the undergrowth to move around the forest.


Amami Rabbits mainly feed on forest plants such as pampas grass, sweet potato stems, bamboo shoots, nuts, berries, leaves, acorns and bark.


Little is known about the breeding habits of Amami Rabbits, but they are known to mate in November or December and the young are born in burrows. They usually have 2 litters of young each year with each litter having 2 - 3 youngsters.


The main predators of Amami Rabbits are mongooses, snakes, cats and dogs.


There are no subspecies of the Amami Rabbit.

Interesting Facts

Amami Rabbits are also known as:
Ryukyu Rabbit

Amami Rabbits are often referred to as living fossils as the species is a living remnant of ancient rabbits that once inhabited the Asian mainland. The rabbits on the mainland died out and they only remained on the two small islands where they still survive today.

The Amami Rabbit used to be hunted by humans, but Japan gave it legal protection in 1921.

It has been estimated that there are less than 5,000 Amami Rabbits remaining.

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