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threatened and/or endangered

Snowshoe Hare Lepus americanus


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Snowshoe Hare, summer coat
credit: Walter Siegmund/CCSA

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Alternate name: Varying Hare

Family: Leporidae, Hares and Rabbits view all from this family

Description Smaller than other Lepus; base of winter hairs brown (not white). Summer pelage rusty brown above and grayish below; ears tipped in black; nostrils and tail white. Winter pelage white with black-tipped ears and yellowish underpaws. Some populations in Oregon and Washington are brown all year.

Dimensions 40-44cm, 2-5cm, 0.9-1.7kg; / 42-52cm, 3-8cm, 0.9-2.2kg

Breeding Active year-round, with breeding occurring from March-July. Litter size ranges from 1-8 and gestation is 34-40 days.

Habitat Alpine & subalpine habitats, Forests & woodlands

Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, California, Northwest, Western Canada, Alaska

Discussion Mostly nocturnal, but can be seen around dawn or dusk. Uses dense thickets in coniferous and mixed forests in the north, and deciduous forests in the south of its range.