Hunting Area Closed to Save Rabbit
The Pond 6 unit of White Slough Wildlife Area in California has been closed to hunting and shooting for the three to five year duration of a project intended to captive breed the riparian brush rabbit, a species in imminent danger of becoming extinct. The restricted shooting area will be posted accordingly. Non-shooting public access will remain in place at Pond 6. The rest of White Slough WA will remain open as usual, and will include hunter access.

As required by the Federal Endangered Species Act, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has written a recovery plan for riparian brush rabbits. Habitat restoration and establishment of additional populations of the riparian brush rabbit within the historical range are the primary goals of the plan. Pond 6 was chosen due to its location within the rabbit's historical range and the excellent habitat at the site.

Other sites are now being restored on the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge and other public properties along the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers. Captive-bred animals from White Slough WA will eventually be released in these sites. Using the Wildlife Area for this purpose will not result in its permanent closure to hunting because all riparian brush rabbits will be removed at the end of the controlled propagation program.

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