First live observation of Swamp Rabbit Confirmed!

Hello Friends!
So this past week was a really good week! After finding the popular latrine log on the North San Gabriel River two weeks back, and placing my camera on it last week, we got two videos of it being used and one of those observations is backed up by one of the other cameras. Both observations have been confirmed and they represent the first live images of Swamp Rabbit that we have documented since we started our Nature Tracking project with Texas parks and Wildlife.
I collected some more fresh scat and my family continues to grumble about the growing quantity of vials in the freezer! Dr. Russell Pfau of Tarleton State University has a plan in place for some early December DNA analysis. We are hopeful of his success!

We managed to get a an American Woodcock on trail camera this week too!
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/35819286

We have been seeing a lot of cottontail rabbits in our nighttime images and those are just too impossible to determine species I think. Looking back at the three documented Swamp Rabbits I observed in 2018 and early 2019, the benefiting factors for identification were color images, or the fact that the animal was in the water at night and happy about it apparently.
I have been becoming more inclined to use another type of camera to achieve a night time color image. The flash necessary for this is one that would be visible to animals and because of this I would not leave set up for very much time. Hopefully it will be not much different than lightning experienced by animals and certainly the flash duration, at fractions of a second, are not capable of causing harm to eyes. Perhaps next month we may have something in the works regarding this.
Short of trapping animals and releasing, something I know nothing about, I can think of no other method worth trying for short term use and quick answers.
Until next time,
Cheers everybody! And Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted on 21 November, 2019 00:58 by mikef451 mikef451

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis)

Observer

mikef451

Date

October 2019

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

North American River Otter
Riparian zone
Williamson, co
10/25/19

Photos / Sounds

What

North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis)

Observer

mikef451

Date

October 2019

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

North American River Otter
Riparian zone
Williamson, Co
10/25/19

Photos / Sounds

What

Cottontail Rabbits (Genus Sylvilagus)

Observer

mikef451

Date

November 2019

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Cottontail Rabbits
Riparian zone
Williamson, Co
11/2/19

Photos / Sounds

What

Swamp Rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus)

Observer

mikef451

Date

November 2019

Description

Swamp Rabbit Latrine log extensively used .
Riparian zone
North San Gabriel River
Georgetown, Tx
Williamson, Co
11/5/19

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Cottontail Rabbits (Genus Sylvilagus)

Observer

mikef451

Date

November 2019

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Cottontail Rabbits
Williamson, Co
11/8/19

Photos / Sounds

What

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

Observer

mikef451

Date

November 2019

Place

Texas, US (Google, OSM)

Description

Bobcat
Williamson, Co
11/4/19

Photos / Sounds

What

Swamp Rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus)

Observer

mikef451

Date

November 2019

Description

Swamp Rabbit using latrine log. These four images are screen captures of the linked video. Log previously confirmed in another observation.
North San Gabriel River
Georgetown, Tx
Williamson, Co
11/10/19

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

Observer

mikef451

Date

November 2019

Description

Common Raccoon
Riparian zone
Williamson, Co.
11/14/19

Photos / Sounds

What

Swamp Rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus)

Observer

mikef451

Date

November 2019

Description

Swamp Rabbit on latrine log. Four screen capture images from linked video. Along with additional camera images. The infrared flash can be seen triggering at the end of the video. The animal can not see these.
Riparian zone
North San Gabriel River
Williamson, Co
11/16/19

Tags

Comments

Mike,
Are they unusual in this area? Looking at the range map it does look like Williamson and Travis Counties are on the Western boundary.

Beth

Posted by bethd over 4 years ago

They Used to be here in Wilco in good numbers but they were recently added to TPWD's SGCN list. I'm not sure if that is to habitat loss/ developement or what. That is why I chose them over River Otter which has slightly more observations here than Swamp rabbit. I just felt that Swamp Rabbit needed more attention. I do not believe that River Otter is on TPWD's list of SGCN. Inaturalist has a (Natureserv) reference of S3 for River Otter but a look at Natureservs website has it at S5 and G5. It is something that is on my list of things to question Dr. Tania Homayoun who is in charge of the Nature trackers project.

Thanks Beth

Posted by mikef451 over 4 years ago

Hi Mike, I might have seen them when I was walking my dog at night....in one small section of Brushy Creek Regional Trail.

Posted by pufferchung over 4 years ago

Thanks Michelle! Is that near the trail head under 183 bridge area? I may go have a look. I live close to Brushy Creek but in Round Rock.

Posted by mikef451 over 4 years ago

It’s further down toward the sport complex. Sorry my sense of direction is really bad. I know there is a huge empty field on the right, and brushy creek is on my left...and regional trail splitting into two separate trails. One goes into a neighborhood, the other one goes to Brushy Lake Park. There are a lot of rabbits between the trail and creek. My dog always go crazy In that areas and often tried to chase those rabbits. They live by the creek, at least 4-5 of them. I looked at the satellite picture from google map, and got a GPS address for that location. https://goo.gl/maps/T5CZGDiZxHsfMCBV7

Posted by pufferchung over 4 years ago

Thanks! I can find that area. I've been to the railroad trestle a couple times before but not west of it any.

Posted by mikef451 over 4 years ago

Holy moly! Just now seeing this -- AWESOME!!!! Spectacular! :)

Posted by sambiology about 4 years ago

Hi Mike:
I searched pictures of my old instagram story and found two cellphone pictures of rabbits that I saw in the Brushy Creek Lake park area. I am not sure if those two were swamp rabbits that you are looking for. Here are two links of the pictures.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/hZZho4NRzuSareCg6

https://photos.app.goo.gl/RKukByuRQJRtM7DE8

Posted by pufferchung about 4 years ago

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