Hares and Jackrabbits
The Riverine Rabbit, also known as the Bushman Hare, is one of the rarest mammals in the world.
See Riverine Rabbit picture.
The critically endangered Volcano Rabbit is found in pine forests and grassy and rocky terrain on the volcanic mountains of Mexico.
Noted as the world’s second smallest rabbit, this nocturnal creature is identified by its small round ears with white at the base, short legs, short thick yellow black fur, and light grey belly.
Adult Volcano Rabbits breed March to July and give birth to four babies from April to August.
Born in underground nests, the babies are helpless for two weeks, move about and eat solid food after three weeks and are independent after thirty days.
The most identified rabbit is the European
Rabbit, which is what domesticated rabbits are formally known as.
Domesticated rabbits include all pet rabbit breeds including dwarfs and angoras.
In all there are fifty seven different established breeds of the domesticated rabbit.
Young European rabbits are known as bunnies, kits or kittens. Male adults are called bucks and female adults are called does. They dig a network of burrows called warrens where they spend most of their time when not feeding. Young bunnies are born blind, furless in nests and depend fully on the mother. Domesticated European Rabbits make friendly pets if cared for correctly.
European Rabbits in Australia
The European rabbit was taken as a pet in 1788 to Australia.
In 1859, twenty four of them were released into the wild causing pandemonium and major problems that are current today.
Because Australia had no natural predators, the European rabbit spread rapidly across the southern portion of the country causing 1/8 of the
country's mammals to become extinct.
By 1869 over two million were said to be shot and killed, but it did not put a dent in the rabbit population.
Several methods were used over the years to try to control the population.
Jameson's Red Rock Hare
The Jameson’s Red Rock Hare is only found in southern Africa in very rocky environments and in grassy or bushy areas near the mountains.
They use the large rocks for shelter while sleeping and resting during the day.
The Jameson’s Red Rock Hare has fine silky brown body fur, white chin, grey neck and cheeks and large reddish brown ears and tails.
They can weigh up to five pounds. This nocturnal creature is a solitary animal, but has been seen in groups comprised of a mother and your young.
They feed at night on vegetation of grasses, leaves and certain fruits.
The Snowshoe Hare gets its name from large feet that make their track look like they are wearing shoes. These large feet have four long toes that spread out to move on snow easily. They can travel up to 45 mph. They have white fur in the winter and brown fur in the summer, a white belly all year round, and black tuffs around their ears which are shorter than other hares.
In Washington and Oregon where snow is less frequent, the snowshoe hare stays brown all year long.
They use their nose and whiskers to sense and smell danger nearby. The snowshoe hare is slightly larger than cottontails and smaller than the black-tailed jackrabbit.
They eat tree bark and wood from aspen, willow and maple trees during the winter.
They also eat the needles off fir, cedar and spruce trees. In the summer they eat grasses, clover, raspberry and blackberry shoots.
Snowshoe Hare Pictures
The Black-tailed Jackrabbit is common in the western United States and Mexico and is recognized as the largest hare in North America. They are identified by their long ears, long back legs, dark brown fur with a black stripe, and ears that are tipped in black. It gets its name from its black tail that is white underneath. This nocturnal creature eats cactus, sagebrush, mesquite grasses, clover and alfalfa. They drink very little water getting it from the vegetation they eat.
The black-tailed jackrabbit doesn’t use burrows, but rather rests during the day and rely on their hearing and speed to evade predators.
They can run up to 55 mph. Predators are birds of prey, coyotes,
foxes, bobcats and weasels.
They are known for thumping the ground with their hind legs warning others of predators or danger.
The Antelope Jackrabbit lives on the grassy hills and plains of the southwestern United States mainly in Arizona and has adapted itself to urban areas. It is identified by its grayish brown body color, white sides, brown face, throat and ears and a tail that is black on top and white on the bottom.
This very large rabbit has a body length of 24 inches, a tail that grows up to 4 inches, front legs that are 8 inches long and back legs that are 12 inches long.
It gets its name from the fast and leaping antelope. The ears of the antelope jackrabbit grow up to 8 inches and are used not only for hearing but to reduce and regulate its body heat for survival.
Adult males and females do a mating dance with the male chasing the female and boxing other males for her affection.
Breeding year round, they have one to five babies in each litter. The young are born fully haired, eyes open and able to hop.
They scatter at birth but come back to their mother to feed.
The White-sided Jackrabbit is found in southern New Mexico to northwestern and central Mexico. It is considered threatened in New Mexico. They inhabit high elevations preferring grassy plains and level lands avoiding trees and shrubs. The white-sided jackrabbit has five toes on its front paws and four toes on it back as well as sturdy claws. The adult female is slightly larger than the adult male. They have a cinnamon colored body with black specks, a white belly, black tipped tail and white sides and rump. Its thighs are also white and are lined with black hairs.
The white-sided jackrabbit breeds from April to August and have two young per litter. After breeding, the adult male defends the female by using three vocal patterns: a high pitched shrill when in fear, grunts when other males are intruding and a trilling grunt used during mating chases. They are very active at night and at dusk. When resting, they are camouflaged and keep their eyes open giving them a 360 degree view to see danger that might be lurking nearby. They mainly stay in pairs. The white-sided jackrabbit eats several varieties of grasses as well as crops from fields and orchards where it becomes a pest. It is protected in most of its habitat region.