According to the New York Daily News, nobody has seen a wild rabbit in Central Park since 2006 (way to horde a story for Easter, Daily News).  The indigenous eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus, which once flourished in Central Park, seems to have been completely eradicated from Manhattan.  One ecologist fairly convincingly blamed the ubiquitous raccoon for spreading parasites (I am inclined to agree after seeing the havoc those masked bandits can wreak upon a garden or anything else) but nobody truly knows the cause for the bunnies’ vanishing act: other potential culprits include feral cats, eagles (!), coyotes, and disease.

The big story of our time—and, indeed the big story since the Hadean era, when life apparently emerged from the slime—is the peculiar and complicated relationships within ecosystems.  I would like to make this a major theme of subsequent posts (after all it is the underlying tale of all living things), but right now I’m just sad about the rabbits.  Hopefully Prospect Park and Greenwood cemetery still have bunnies.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them there more recently then 2006, but I’m going to have to keep my eyes peeled and ask my Brooklyn neighbors to do the same.