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I’m Winston Gieseke, philanthropy and special sections editor for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, as always wishing you a safe and informed weekend. But first, here are some of today’s headlines from this great state of ours.

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Deadly virus in rabbits threatens to disrupt some Western ecosystems

While hiking in the Jacumba Wilderness in Imperial County on February 28, a local conservationist reported seeing 23 dead rabbits. Knowing that the predators that killed hares usually devoured their prey, she thought there must be another explanation for the death.

She speculated that the culprit could be rabbit hemorrhagic disease.

Caused by a deadly and highly contagious virus, the disease affects both wild and domestic populations of lagomorphs, a subset of species that includes hares, rabbits and pikas. As of March of last year, government labs have confirmed cases of rabbit hemorrhagic disease in the West, with the epicenter in southwestern and southern California.

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