The hare belongs to the class of mammals, the order of hares, the hare family, the genus of hares.
The mammal is common in the north of Eurasia. The main habitats are tundra, forest and forest-steppe areas, where the hare usually lives in isolation.
When changing fodder lands and deteriorating weather conditions, these animals can move a considerable distance from their permanent habitats.
The white hare lives in a wide geographic range. This is the entire tundra and forest zones of northern Europe (Poland, Scandinavia, Scotland), Russia, Mongolia, and Northeast China. It was also delivered to South America (Chile, Argentina).
An adult white hare reaches a length of 43-61 cm, and its tail is small - 4–7 cm, ears have a length of 7.6-10 cm, it weighs 1.6-4.5 kg. "Northern" hares are much larger than their "southern" relatives. Color varies depending on the season. The hare is completely white in winter, and in summer the habitat affects the color - the fur becomes reddish-gray or brown. The color change of the hare is called molting. They moult twice during the year - from the end of February to May (spring) and from October to January - in winter. The duration of the color change process is shorter in a warm spring than in cold weather. On average, the color change in a hare lasts about 80 days.
What eats a hare
Diet is determined by the habitat and season of the year. White hare refers to herbivorous animals. In the summer, forest dwellers enjoy feeding on green vegetation, and the inhabitants of the tundra eat alpine grasses. Hares willingly eat cereals, lichens, oats and clovers. However, in winter, when all food is mostly under the snow, they feed on the bark of shrubs and various trees.
In autumn and winter, harder fodder enters the ration of white hares; at this time they feed on tree bark (willow, aspen, birch), various berries (rosehip, rowan, bird cherry, juniper) and take out cedar cones from under the snow. This causes a deficiency in the diet of mineral salts, so the hares sometimes eat the soil, animal bones and pebbles.
The hare has a sex ratio of approximately 50 to 50. When it reaches puberty, the hare begins to multiply. The gestation of the female happens 2-3 times, but more often 2 times a year. The first rut takes place in February-March, the second in May-June. The duration of gestation in hares ranges from 47 to 54 days. A female gives birth to four hares, each weighs approximately 90 g. The size of the mother completely determines the number of hares in one brood, the larger the female, the more babies will be born for one offspring.
The body of a new-born white hare is completely covered with thick fur. Mother hare feeds her babies with breast milk on average for four weeks. The milk of the female is very fat and nutritious, so she feeds the cubs only once a day. The white hare reaches sexual maturity at 10 months. Life expectancy of hares in the wild ranges from 7 to 17 years, but most of them do not live to the age of five for various reasons.
The relationship between the sexes develops in such a way that the males dominate the females. In the breeding season, sometimes males tend to mate with the same female, which often causes fights between them.
In the afternoon, the white hare sleeps most of all, because it is a night animal.
It so happens that during the harsh winter cold, when the amount of food is insufficient, these animals use cereals (cereals) and bark of fruit-bearing trees as food, which cause economic harm to people. The hare is an important object of sport hunting. Man hunts him for skin and meat.
As already mentioned, the white hare is able to live for almost 17 years, but in most cases its life expectancy is no more than 5 years. The main reasons are various predators (fox, lynx, golden eagle, owl), as well as parasites and insufficient food, especially in winter.
Description hare hare
Brown hare a rather large individual, growing to 68 cm in length and weighing approximately 7 kg. the main feature All hares are 9-15 cm long, wedge-shaped ears, thanks to which they are able to hear at a great distance, but, alas, smell and sight. During danger, the rodent shows the greatest aggression, attacking, thereby frightening offenders. True, in the hunting season such frills are worth living. Fur hare different shades of brown, and white circles can be seen around the eyes. For a mammal, wavy, silky and shiny fur is characteristic. It is the beauty of fur that attracts hunters. Life expectancy of a hare in nature is not great, females live 5 years, males 9 years. But there were also recorded individuals who lived 12-14 years!
What are the similarities and differences of hare white hare
Since many of us confuse the hare and white hare, we will tell you about the similarities and differences between these hares.
2. Lead sedentary
3. Summer gray fur
4. Eat only plant food.
5. Do not make stocks for the winter
1. Rabbit hare bigger in size
2. The white hare is completely white in winter, only the tips of the ears remain dark, and the hare only brightens
3. The hare lives only in the forest, the hare is in gardens, meadows, steppes, arable lands
4. The white hare has wide legs adapted to the snow.
5. The white hair has noticeably shorter ears than the brown hare, and they are painted in a dark dot.
6. The hare has wavy hair, the hare is smooth
7. The hind legs of a white hare are much shorter than those of a hare.
8. In the hare, the tail is wedge-shaped and long; in the hare, it is short and round.
9. In winter, the white hare feeds on aspen and willow, hare is also bark of oak, maple.
As you understood from the above, the hares have quite a few differences, and there are much less similarities. Next we will talk about nutrition and habitat. hare.
Habitat hare hare - European forest-steppe, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkey and even the north of Africa.
The mammal perfectly escapes from its enemies, accelerating 80 km / h, and dramatically changing direction, which leads to stupor pursuers, like a wolf, an owl and a fox. And all thanks to the strong hind limbs with long feet.
These animals are able to live both alone and in groups. They breed three times a year, where in one litter of a female there is from 1 to 9 babies. In total, the pregnancy lasts about 50 days. Rabbits are born sighted and already able to move independently, although they need mother's milk for 5-7 days, after a few weeks from birth they are ready to switch to common food.
What eats a hare hare
Ration of hares depends on the time of year. For example, in the spring-summer period there are branches and leaves of young shrubs and trees, various herbs, dandelions and clover, melons and gourds, vegetables. In the autumn-winter period, mammals take out the remains of grain crops from under the snow and leaves, feed on the bark of various trees, undoubtedly causing great harm to them.
Appearance subspecies hare white hare
This subspecies has paws, large in width, completely covered with thick fur. Animal body weight can reach 4.5-5 kg. The length of the ears reaches 10 cm. The small rounded tail is about 6.5 cm.
The color of the hare changes with the change of the season, the coat is gray in the summer, sometimes with a touch of red. And in winter - snow-white, with barely noticeable dark patches on the ears. The hare sheds twice a year, this process occurs depending on the temperature conditions in the habitat. On the territory where snow falls there is much less, the color of the animal remains grayish.
White hare behavior in everyday life
With sufficient food supplies, the hare will be able to overcome up to 9-10 km in one night, in the opposite situation they will not even master three kilometers. An amazing fact: the white hare has time to knock on the ground with its paws before retiring from its place. Thus, he signals his approach of danger. Entangling the tracks, the white jumps five meters ahead, and then abruptly to the side.
Specifics of hare hawk nutrition
The animal belongs to the herbivorous representatives. In the summer, food includes green plants such as clover, leaves that are found in habitable areas.
In winter it is much more difficult to find food. During this period, the bark of the tree comes into play, birch or aspen will approach, as well as branches of dry bushes. Cones found in the snow or dry grass provide food.
Spring and summer periods are considered the most suitable for mating. Usually, up to seven cubs are born. During the season there are from two to four broods of offspring. The gestation period of the female hare lasts about 50 days. Hares come into the world with open eyes and can already move themselves. Females, oddly enough, feed not only their offspring, but also accidentally found cubs are hares, because from the accumulated milk in the glands, the instinct induces the hares to free themselves from its excess.
When a man appears on the horizon, the female hare distracts him from her offspring, pretending to be wounded, tries to attract attention by tapping on the ground with her paws. The male white does not take part in caring for brood, but in turn does not interfere and does not bring trouble.
At two weeks of age, hares begin to independently eat grass, stalks and leaves of green plants. The first eight days the offspring feeds exclusively on mother's milk, and then the babies go on a regular diet. After reaching two and a half weeks, babies become independent, and at the age of ten months are ready for sexual activity. Life expectancy of hares is in most cases 17 years old.
White hare habitat
Like the hare of a hare, the habitats of this species are very diverse. Belyak looks after the area for living near the land where you can always find food, despite the season. This place can be the edge of mixed forests or bush thickets. Also, the hare is concealed in the high grass, sometimes in the reeds near the water - there it will be out of reach for the enemies.
The white hawk's most developed sense organ is a rumor that promptly warns it of the approach of a predator or any other calamity. Sight and smell are much weaker, and if a person stands nearby, even on empty terrain a white hair can sometimes come close enough. In fact, the only protective measure against the pursuer is the ability to quickly run away. Interestingly, the pursued hare, only a little away from the pursuit, makes clever tricks. Over the course of evolution, hares have learned to move away from predators with the help of incredible dexterity, cunning, and flawless camouflage. Running speed can be compared to the speed of a traveling car, and this is 50-60 km / h. With all this, without lowering the pace, they can make sharp turns, forcing the enemy to slow down to re-make clever reception.
White hare population and factors affecting it
The population of this species of hares is located in especially the northern regions, the forests of northwestern Europe (Switzerland, Norway, Scandinavia), in North America, in the part of Russia close to Europe, in the tundra zone, on Sakhalin.
Haunt enemies are hare, marten, but mostly fox. In winter, hares fall into the paws of predators more often than in summer. Large birds of prey attack them, such as white-tailed eagles. Although the hares have a sufficient number of enemies, but all of them do not feed exclusively on hares, the possible reason for this phenomenon is that their numbers are not too large. It is proved by the findings of their remains that most white hares die from attacks by predators and rarely live to old age.
In past centuries, hares were hunted extremely rarely, most often they were found by chance, as the partridges were chased. People of the older generation did not eat hares because of their religious beliefs, which attributed the hare, bear and squirrel to “dirty” animals, and their consumption was not welcomed. For the fur harvesting, hares were also not popular.
In general, the number of white hare is affected by many phenomena that affect its population.
White hare protection
In our time, white hair is an important goal of the sport hunting and fur industry. Mined in numerous quantities for food and skin.
During the construction and construction of roads and highways, as well as the reconstruction of other linear communications that cross forest and adjacent territories, devices with special aisles are provided for the safe movement of wild animals along them.
White hare and man
Usually hares live near the person.
Sometimes the population of a species is rapidly decreasing as a result of various epidemics. And in the years of grace the number increases dramatically. Bursts of such phenomena occur, as a rule, once in 12 years.
The constant harm that a white hare brings in farms and farms is rather small and does not have a particular impact on the economic activities of people. But over time, cases of infection of people during periods of hunting with diseases carried by white hares have become more frequent, such as tularemia.
The effect of the white hare on the ecological state of nature
The white hare is a simple subspecies that easily adapts to a nearby person. With time, the population changes tens or even hundreds of times. The main reason for the extinction of the number of heads are the epizootics, which are a consequence of the “harvest” of these hares. The nature of this phenomenon is rarely obtained. There have been cases of numerous deaths of hares of this breed from parasites of worms, of which nematodes (roundworms), living, as a rule, in light animals are especially dangerous. Intestinal diseases are also frequent. In times of high white hare populations, the number of predatory animals hunting them: foxes, golden eagles, and eagle owls increases.
The hare, as mentioned earlier, is a common animal. It can be found in the forests of North America, Sweden, Scandinavia and Norway, that is, in the northern regions. In Russia, the animals have chosen the forests of Siberia, Kamchatka and Sakhalin. Mammals live in Sumy, Zhytomyr and Chernihiv regions located in Ukraine.
Where does the white hare live? The mammal prefers to live in places where food can be found in abundance at any time of the year. For this reason, most often the animals are found on the edges of deciduous and mixed forests. Hares try to settle in places where they are not disturbed by predators. They hide from larger and stronger opponents in thickets, in high steppe grasses and in reeds growing close to water bodies.
The white hare is a herbivore that consumes food of plant origin. The diet of a mammal directly depends on the season. So, in the summer period, the animals eat herbaceous plants like clover, yarrow, goldenrod. They are happy to eat cereals, flowers and dandelion leaves. Belyaki know medicinal plants very well and use them as food.
In the autumn season, the diet of hares becomes scarce. During this period, it consists of small branches of bushes that the animals find in the forest.
What eats a hare in the winter? Mammals with pleasure gnaw the bark of various trees: aspen, willow, birch. From under the snow they get cedar cones and dry grass. If you are lucky, the animals can eat berries, remaining on the bushes. In addition to all of the above, whitefish eat alder and mountain ash, juniper and dog rose. In search of food, they come to the orchards and gnaw the bark of the trees growing there.
Spring is a transitional period of the year; it is during this period that the ration of hares undergoes significant changes. Instead of bark, animals re-eat young herbaceous plants, as well as shoots of shrubs and trees. This is what the hare eats all year round.
The most active animals are in the evening and before dawn.
After the onset of cold weather, they pull a small hole in the snow. It serves as a refuge: here mammals hide during the day and in bad weather. In the summer, there is no need for such shelters, so the whites rest on the grass growing near trees and shrubs.
Hares are pretty smart animals. They remember the route that they take from the shelter to the place of feeding, and each time they move in the same direction. In winter, even people can walk along the paths traced by white hares.
When it comes to searching for food, the white hare exhibits endurance. In one night, the animal can cover a huge distance - almost 10 km. If the animal is fed, it passes under the cover of night just 1 km. In case of danger, the hare is saved only by the ability to move quickly, since the eyesight and sense of smell in animals are very, very poorly developed.
Hares are prolific animals. Сезон спаривания приходится на весенне-летний период. Женские особи особо плодовиты в возрасте 2-7 лет. Продолжительность беременности в среднем составляет 47-55 дней, через некоторое время после родов зайчиха готова к спариванию. Таким образом, за один сезон на свет появляется от 2 до 4 выводков по 5-7 зайчат в каждом.Of course, these figures are generalized. Actual performance is directly dependent on the nutrition and age of the female. Okoth happens on the grass. The first brood appears in April or May, the second - in June or July, the third - in August or September. The hares born in March or November most often die.
Newborn white coats are covered with thick fluffy fur. They are born sighted, which distinguishes representatives of this species from many mammals. Moreover, the ability to move independently manifests itself in the first minutes of life. Weight hare is 100-130 grams. For 8 days after birth, the only product that animals consume is mother's milk. They feed animals once a day. In the second week of life, fresh grass is added to the diet. Already on the 15th day the pups are moving away from the mother, their independent existence begins. They reach puberty in 10 months.
The life of a white hare in the forest is 17 years, but only a small part of the animals live to this age. The danger for a mammal is poachers, predators and various infections.
Rabbit fur is highly valued, which is why animals are hunted. Their meat has excellent taste. This is another reason why poachers kill white hair.
In case of danger, the animals can only run away from its source. The hare's enemies are predators that move quickly, jump far and have good eyesight. Because of their insecurity, animals become fairly easy prey for lynx, foxes, golden eagles and owl.
But with predators and poachers infection can not be compared. There are cases when white hawks died en masse due to parasitic worms. Epizootic - an infectious disease that covers almost 100% of the local population of hares. In addition, very often the animals affect intestinal worm diseases, tularemia and pseudotuberculosis.
The color of the hare's hair, the taste of its meat attract poachers. Hunting animals equate to sports. There are several ways. The most popular of them is surge. Hunters are divided into beaters and shooters. In the winter season, dogs play the role of beaters, since a person cannot always catch up with a frightened hare that runs at a speed of 50-70 km / hour. Beaters lure animals to the position of the shot, where they are killed. The animal is trying to confuse the tracks, because running away in zigzags or in a circle.
Another way to hunt is to find white hare on a blacktop. Against the background of a dark path, the snow-white skin is very clearly visible. In winter, hares are hunted using the trail method, or reading tracks. To do this, a person must be hardy and well know the habits of white hare.
The hare is protected by the Bern Convention. This species is listed in the Red Book of Ukraine and the Red List of the International Conservation Community. Zoodefenders from around the world are doing everything possible to prevent the extinction of white hairs. With the help of large long ears bunny notice the danger. They know how to hide and quickly run away from predators, but this does not always save their lives.