The distribution and abundance of swamp rabbits in southern Illinois have decreased due to loss and fragmentation of bottomland hardwood forests. Remaining populations are likely isolated because of limited dispersal across open areas. Private citizens own 69% of highly suitable swamp rabbit habitat in southern Illinois, so public-private partnership is key to any conservation efforts. Owners of highly suitable habitat were sent mail surveys to determine current and acceptable forms of land management, participation in government incentive programs, and interest in swamp rabbit conservation. The response rate was 41%, and 69% of surveyed landowners indicated interest in learning about or participating in swamp rabbit conservation efforts, implying that creation of public-private partnerships could be feasible. Nearly half of the respondents were already enrolled in government incentive programs. Our results suggest that there could be substantial support for swamp rabbit conservation, and that outreach efforts may increase enrollment in incentive programs.
Rubert, Lyann, Schauber, Eric M., Nielsen, Clayton K. and Scharine, Paul D. "Feasibility of Public-private Partnerships for Swamp Rabbit Conservation.." Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 104, No. 1 & 2 (Jan 2011): 93-104. doi:http://ilacadofsci.com/archives/390.