Those rabbits were in fact snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), and their 10-year cycle is one of the most intriguing features of the ecology of the boreal forest.
What is the classification of a snowshoe hare?
How do snowshoe hares survive?
The snowshoe hare are well adapted for their life in the north. They have large, furry feet that act as snowshoes for traveling on top of the snow. Their fur is thick to protect them from freezing temperatures. It also turns white in winter so that they are almost invisible in a snowy background.
What are some physical characteristics of snowshoe hare?
The snowshoe hare’s fur is rusty brown in the spring and summer, and white in the winter. It also always has a gray underbelly, and black on the tips and edges of its ears and tail. It has very large hind feet, and dense fur on their soles. The snowshoe hare’s ears are not as long as some other species of hares’ ears.
How often do snowshoe hare reproduce?
Hares produce two to three litters of young a year and females remate soon after the birth of a litter. Males and females have multiple mates throughout the year. Young hares move about soon after they are born and young snowshoe hares usually begin to breed a year after their birth.
How many babies does a snowshoe hare have?
Is snowshoe hare good to eat?
Snowshoe hares are safe to eat as long as they’re cooked, but rabbits can carry tularemia, bacteria passed on through internal organs, that can be contracted through open cuts and contact with infected tissues.
How does a snowshoe hare behave?
The snowshoe hare is solitary, although it may share its home range with other hares. It is most active at dawn and dusk and on cloudy days. During the day, it spends most of its time grooming and napping.
Is the snowshoe hare endangered?
Least Concern (Population stable)
What animals eat snowshoe hares?
Snowshoe hares feed at night, following well worn forest paths to feed on trees and shrubs, grasses, and plants. These animals are nimble and fast, which is fortunate, because they are a popular target for many predators. Lynx, fox, coyote, and even some birds of prey hunt this wary hare.
Do wolves eat snowshoe hares?
Snowshoe hares are common in many Yellowstone habitats. They are known for their large snowshoe feet and their changing camouflage–brown in the summer and white in the winter. … A hare would only provide a wolf with a light snack for a lot of work, so are not a main food source for wolves.
What is the diet of a snowshoe hare?
Is a snowshoe hare a primary consumer?
Our primary consumers are ground squirrels, snowshoe hares, insects, and moose. … The organisms in our food chain which are herbivores are ground squirrels, moose, insects, and snowshoe hares. There aren’t any omnivores, but there are quite a few carnivores; great horned owls, red foxes, lynx, and passerine birds.
Who eats hare?
Hare Predators and Threats
This cycle takes place over a regular eight to 11-year time span. Meanwhile, both the brown hare and the European hare are the prey of the fox. Other common predators include bobcats, hawks, eagles, snowy owls, wolves, coyotes, bears, and even weasels.
Do snowshoe hares live in burrows?
Snowshoe hares prefer to live in coniferous forests found in cold climates, where the thick underbrush provides them with plenty of places to hide from predators. Unlike rabbits, hares don’t build nests or burrows, but live above ground year-round.
Do cottontails turn white in winter?
This species’ fur turns white in the winter, allowing it to blend into the snow-covered landscape, while the fur of cottontail rabbits stays brown year-round.