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Although laboratory results indicated that rats are more sensitive than rabbits, it was decided to use rabbits for the derivation of the SQGI. Rabbits were considered more appropriate for several reasons. First, because rabbits are strictly herbivores, they are more representative of a grazing SOIL QUALITY GUIDELINES SSD URANIUM Page 60 species than rats, which are omnivorous. Second, when one considers the attributes of wild rats and wild rabbits (as opposed to laboratory strains), there is evidence to suggest that rabbits may be more sensitive. For example, based on wildlife daily food ingestion rates and body weights for rats and rabbits (U.S. EPA 1993; BCMELP 1996), ingestion rates corrected for body weight are higher for rabbits than for rats, at approximately 83 g dw food/kg bw/day versus 53 g dw food/kg bw/day, respectively. Also, the proportion of soil ingestion as a percentage of total dry matter intake has been estimated higher for rabbits, at 6.3% for black-tailed jackrabbits (Arthur and Gates 1988), than for rats, at 2.8% for cotton rats (Garten 1980 as cited in McMurter 1993). Although both of these species are native to the southern United States, it is expected that the proportion of soil ingestion for Canadian species of rabbits and rats would be comparable