Mammal Species of the World's Boreal Forests


Lepus capensis
Brown Hare
"Common Hare"


Distinguishing Features - Adult: average weight: 4 - 5 kg, length: 47 - 87 cm. Slender body, short and bushy tail, oval head, very long, mobile ears (12 - 14 cm), large red brown eye, very long hind legs. Ginger-brown fur with shades of black on the upper parts, more ginger breast and sides, white inner sides of legs and belly.

Brown Hare Habitat

Widespread throughout Europe, Scandinavia and Eurasia in open land (meadows, pastures, cultivated fields, sandy moors, marshes) close to hedges, thickets and forests.


Exclusively vegetarian diet: herbaceous plants, cereals, berries, mushrooms, vegetables. It eats some of its droppings laid during night time and digests them for a 2nd time.


Before reproduction, frequent ritual fights between the males occur: standing up on their hind legs, they hit each other with their front legs. Mating takes place from January to June, the young being born from March to October. Gestation lasts 42 days. The doe hare raises 2 - 4 litters of 1 - 6 leverets a year. It may be impregnated a 2nd time before the production of young and then carries simultaneously young ready to be born and the embryos of the next litter. The young are suckled for 3 weeks and become independant after a month.

When the population density is high, the hare may cause damage in young forest plantations and among crops.

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