Amami Rabbit: Appearance, Lifespan, Temperament, Care Sheet

Today, we will be talking about a very interesting rabbit – the Amami Rabbit. Now, you might be wondering what makes this rabbit so special? Well, spoilers are no fun. Do you not agree? Do not worry, though! We won’t keep you hanging.

Without further delay, let’s jump right into this rabbit’s burrow. There is a lot to dig up here, after all.

A. Information Chart: Amami Rabbit

amani rabbit

Before we dive deep, let’s have a quick overview of the Amami rabbit. You know, to have a glimpse of what we are dealing with, if you will.



Weight Average







 Dark Brown to Black



Similar Breed

 Volcano Rabbit

Best Suited For

The Wild

You now have an idea of the overall profile of the Amami rabbit. As you might have already noticed, there are already some interesting things on this chart. So, stay with us! There is so much more to know and clarify. This right here is only the tip of it all.

B. Background and History of the Amami Rabbit

The Amami Rabbit goes by many names. Its scientific name is Pentalagus furnessi. On the other hand, it is also the Ryukyu rabbit. Often, though, it is referred to as a living fossil. Why is that? Well, let us start digging.

The history of this rabbit goes way back. The belief is that the oldest fossil of this rabbit dates back to the last ice age. So, as you can see, we’re talking about thousands of years! You could say the Amami rabbits stand as the last few traces of the rabbits that once roamed the Asian mainland.

Millions of years ago, a group of islands got divided from the mainland. Two of those islands were the Amami and the Tokunoshima, where the Amami rabbits reside today. It is not clear how these rabbits survived while the others didn’t. The divide could have contributed to the survival of the Amami rabbits and not of the others, though.

These rabbits might have survived whatever happened back then, but not all is well for them today.

Today, the number of the Amami rabbits is declining for multiple reasons. We will talk more about this topic later on. For now, you might be happy to know that there are efforts to keep them from going extinct.

It’s already sad that their numbers are dwindling. To top it off, though, there is still so much more that we don’t know about these rabbits. We are in a race against time to keep their species from going extinct and getting to know them better. Hopefully, we get to win both of these battles.

For now, there is not much we could do but get to know them better. So, let’s continue with that.

C. Breed Standard and Appearance of the Amami Rabbit

amami rabbit

As you will see later, there is still so much that we do not know about the Amami rabbits. However, even if they are elusive creatures, we have a good picture of their appearance. We know how they look and what separates them apart from other rabbits. Let’s talk about that here.

The Amami rabbit has a bulky body and weighs around 2.5kg. Males tend to be smaller than females. Looking only at this, they are not much different from other rabbits. Let’s continue, though.

They have small ears and eyes but big claws, characteristics not often seen on our furry friends at home. At least, not all in one rabbit. To add, they also have short back legs and feet. Finally, they have dark furs that do them well as their coats help them blend with their surroundings well.

D. Behavior of the Amami Rabbit

As we have said, there is still a great deal that we don’t know about the Amami rabbits. A complete picture of their behavior is one of the murky areas. Here are some things we do know, though.

Is the Amami Rabbit Shy or Scared of Humans?

The Amami rabbit could be said to be aloof toward humans. They run away when humans try to get near. We could guess they are shy as many rabbits are. That could be a stretch, though. A better explanation would probably be they are scared, as their reaction is one you would expect from a fearful prey animal.

Is the Amami Rabbit a Crepuscular Creature?

Another behavior we should note is that Amami rabbits are nocturnal creatures, which could come as a surprise. If you have a furry friend at home, you might already know that rabbits are crepuscular creatures.

E. Health of the Amami Rabbit

ancient rabbits

Again, the overall health of the Amami rabbit is a blurry area. We could assume the Amami rabbits to be healthy rabbits. That is only based on the fact that health issues are not one of the reasons for the decline of these rabbits’ numbers, though.

We will talk more about this topic later, but for now, it might be essential to point out that there are many reasons why the number of these rabbits is on the decline. Again, though, health issues don’t seem to be on that list.

F. Health Issues of the Amami Rabbit and the Treatments

Again, this area is a little muddy. Currently, the Amami rabbit is not known to be especially susceptible to any disease or ailment. That does not mean these rabbits would be lovely pets, though. They are amazing rabbits, yes. However, they’re not the best rabbits to take home. Why? Well, let’s talk about that next.

G. Caring for the Amami Rabbit


It might be the best time to note that the Amami is a wild rabbit and is not a pet. Caring for this rabbit is best left to the experts. This rabbit is a lovely creature, but it is a beauty to be adored at a distance.

As we have said earlier, the number of the Amami rabbit is on the decline. We might not be able to take them home to take care of them, but there is something we can do for them. We could care for their home. That is one way to care for them. So, let’s talk about that next.

H. Amami Rabbit’s Life in the Wild

We may not be able to take an Amami rabbit home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to learn more about them.

To add, while we may not be able to take care of them in the comfort of our home, we can help take care of them by caring for their home better in hopes of amping their numbers.

Home of the Amami Rabbit

The Amami rabbit lives in forests. Not just any forests, though. These rabbits need to be between old and young forests. As you will see later, this specific need makes conservation and forest restoration a challenging feat.

Diet of the Amami Rabbit

The Amami rabbit might be different from many other rabbits in many ways, but it has the same diet. They are herbivores.

I. Is the Amami Rabbit Endangered?

rabbit ancestors

Finally, let’s shine the light on the problem the Amami rabbits face. As we have said earlier, the number of these rabbits is declining. Now comes the question: Is the Amami rabbit endangered?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has labeled these rabbits as endangered. How did it all come to this? Well, there are several reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the factors.

As you might have already guessed, first on the list is hunting. That is not all there is to it, though. The destruction of these rabbits’ homes is another reason. With the first two reasons we’ve listed, it could be challenging, but there is something we could do with those. The third reason is a little more difficult to deal with – predators.

The Amami rabbits have many predators. The Indian Mongoose stands out, though. They got introduced to the island to help control the number of habu snakes. In time, though, they became a bigger problem.

Today, the belief is that there are less than 5,000 Amami rabbits left. With this number, the Amami’s location and their nocturnal behavior, well, even spotting this rabbit is a rare instance.

Are There Conservation Attempts for the Amami Rabbit?

We now know these rabbits are on the endangered list. Now, let’s address the next important question: Are there conservation attempts for the Amami rabbit? Yes, there are!

As we have said earlier, hunting is one of the reasons these rabbits became endangered. For that, Japan made the Amami a natural monument. With that, hunting was prevented. Later on, Japan made it a special natural monument that protected it further.

Additionally, there are also efforts for habitat restoration. As we said earlier, though, the specific needs of the Amami rabbit don’t make this task easy. While reforestation could be easy, the effort would be for nothing if the area is not near a mature forest.

J. Interesting Amami Rabbit Facts

japanese rabbit

We are almost at the end. Are you still wondering if the Amami is all that different from other rabbits? Well, allow us to share a few more facts about the Amami rabbit.

Reproduction of the Amami Rabbit

As you might already know, rabbits are prolific breeders. We can’t say the same thing with the Amami, though.

Many things are still not clear when it comes to their reproductive behavior, but there is one we do know with certainty. They only give birth to one to two kits. To add, it seems they choose to breed only twice a year.

With all that, we could say this is one of the reasons why raising the numbers of the Amami rabbits is such a feat. Their number is rapidly going down. On the other hand, they reproduce at a slow pace.

How Do Amami Rabbits Communicate?

If you have seen or owned a rabbit before, you would probably know that they communicate via body language. The Amami rabbit does things differently in this area, though. The Amami rabbits use sounds to talk. They could use their voice or their hind parts to make sounds to get a thought across.

K. Domestic Rabbits You Can Take Home Instead

Domestic Rabbits You Can Take Home Instead

We now know that we can’t take an Amami rabbit home. You might still have fallen in love for it, though. We have a few cuddly critters here that you might want to consider instead.

Polish Rabbit

First up, we have the Polish rabbit. We know it looks way off from the bulky body of the Amami. Like the Amami rabbit, though, the Polish rabbit also has adorable little ears!

Netherland Dwarf

Next up, we have the Netherland Dwarf. Being a dwarf rabbit, it is smaller than the Amami rabbit. It has a bulky body and short ears like the Amami, though!

Silver Fox

Finally, we have the Silver Fox. Maybe it’s not the body or the ears that drew you to the Amami rabbit. If it’s their coat you adore, you might want to consider the Silver Fox then!


And that’s The ABCs of the Amami Rabbit!

We got to know this interesting rabbit from its history to its standing today. We also got to know what makes it similar to its other brothers and sister. Ultimately, though, we saw how different it is from other rabbits!

More than anything, though, we found out that there is still so much we don’t know about these rabbits. To add, we are in a race against time to keep it from being extinct and getting to know it better.

Today, the Amami rabbit is on the list of endangered species, but there are efforts to keep them in our system. While we might not be able to do much today, let’s continue to get to know these creatures in hopes that a time when we can help will come.

We hope we got to help you get to know this lovely rabbit. Are you interested to know the other rabbits out there? Feel free to check out our other talks. We will see you around!

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