In case anyone did a search for snowshoe hares and came to my site by
mistake, I decided to have a page of information for them, so that don't get too
annoying with me. This is what I have dredged up:
The snowshoe hare is named because of its exceptionally long feet (11–15
cm), and because of the tough hairs and wide toes of the hare, it is well suited
to the cold life in the snow that it leads. The snowshoe hare also changes its
coat twice a year: for the winter, it is white, with only small portions of
black, and in the summer it brown. This is, obviously, for protective reasons —
a white rabbit in the summer or a brown rabbit in the winter wouldn't last long.
The females are larger than the males (that might explain the large size of our
female rabbit, since I am informed that it the general state amongst hares and rabbits).
The hare can achieve speeds up to 27 miles per hour and jumps distances as far
as ten feet on a single bound (I would assume this is once it is at full speed,
and not from a standing position).
The snowshoe hare, as the name might suggest, generally lives in northern US
and in Canada. You most likely won't find any sunning themselves on the Gulf of
Mexico. They are most active in the twilight hours: Sunrise and sunset. They
mostly are loners, but urban areas can be found with densities up to 10,000 per
Predators of snowshoe hares include wolves, lynxes and cougars, among others.
Hares have two different plan of defense — if they are young, they freeze and
just sit there, while the adults flee. The attacker will go after the moving
hare, but the hare makes sharp turns to throw the larger animal off balance.
They will also dive into a nearby lake or stream to escape, if necessary.
Breeding season begins in mid-March and end in August. Hares can have up to four litters in a single season with an average of two to four offspring, although they can have up to
eight, with the young are born fully furred.
Because the hare reproduces quickly, population densities can range from one to 10,000 hares per square
mile (as stated before). They are the main source of meat for many carnivores
such as the wolf and lynx (also as stated before). These predators strengthen the population by preventing overpopulation, which can destroy vegetation and cause starvation in not only hares, but other animals
(such as deer) as well. When the predators are not there, the population may be more prone to disease and starvation.
Here is a little table for you: