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Monday, 31st December 2012
In General Japan News,

Midnight bunny 'no longer endangered'

Japan's midnight bunny is no longer deemed to be at risk of extinction, following its removal from the official endangered species list.

The mammal, also known as the Amami Black rabbit, is unique to Japan and is thought to provide a link to ancestors in mainland Asia.

The black rabbit, characterised by its short ears and hind legs, is known for its unusual night-time behaviour.

Females of the species bury their young to protect them from predators, returning at midnight to uncover them and feed them milk.

Conservation experts had been concerned about the future of the midnight bunny, as destruction of its natural habitat had led to its decline.

In addition to this, the rabbits breed just once or twice a year, making it difficult to bolster their population.

Happily, the animal has now been found successfully surviving on Amami Oshima and Toku no shima, two small islands in the south of the country, leading to its official removal from the endangered species list.

Written by Mark Smith