AUGUSTA – Biologists want Mainers to report if they see brown rabbits this winter.

Fewer than 300 New England cottontail rabbits live in Maine, and they are an endangered species in the state.

Each winter, biologists from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife partner up with conservation groups to survey sites known to have cottontails.

The rabbits look similar to snowshoe hares most of the year, but remain brown in winter when the hares turn white.

New England cottontails were once seen up and down much of the Maine coast but have diminished in numbers as they have lost their dense, shrubby habitat.

New England cottontails sightings can be reported to assistant biologist Cory Stearns at [email protected]