Boston, MA– Recent reports about the consequences of climate change have been focusing on the damage that is being done to the species of the world. Systematically, over a million different species are at risk of becoming extinct in the coming years. Fortunately, there is a silver lining to this as many countries and cities have been making efforts to help rebuild some of the species that are at risk. One example of these species is the New England cottontail, which is an adorable rabbit that has experienced dwindling populations. And this species is being rebuilt in an adorable and amusing way.
From the 1940s to the 1990s, the federal government and the United States Navy used Nomans Land Island, an island near Boston and off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, to test bombs. It became a desolate, abandoned island that was ridden by the impact of bombs. Many undetonated bombs remain buried. Yet, this island was chosen as the place for New England cottontail rabbits to make a comeback. What better way to reclaim an island than to replace the impact of bombs with the growing status of bunnies?
The island is 628 square acres and, per The Cape Cod Times, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already brought 13 New England cottontails to the island in the hopes of fostering repopulation, as recently as last week.
There are still some undetonated bombs on the island, which was definitely a cause for concern, but according to analysis, the rabbits, which weigh up to three pounds, are not heavy enough to actually set off any of the bombs. So no, the island will not become a horror story of bloody bunny extinction.
The island is also said to be able to support as many as 600 New England cottontails, though the initial goal is just to get the population up to around 500. If more rabbits spring up, though, there might be nothing that can be done to cull the population, due to the undetonated bombs.
So, basically, Massachusetts now has an island that is almost certain to become overrun by rabbits. Maybe they will have to airlift some out of there in a tense rescue that will undoubtedly become a feature-length motion picture.
Image via Flickr / U.S. Dept. of Agriculture