Brown hare: photos and descriptions, where does it live and what does it feed on?
The international scientific name of the hare genus in Latin is Lepus. These mammals belong to the order of hare-like hares. Previously, they were considered a species of rodent. Later, scientists found that they differ in the composition of blood and the structure of teeth. Hares are among the most common animals in our country. 4 most common species of hares inhabit the territory of Russia: the Manchurian hare, the white hare, the sandstone hare, the hare. Lifestyle and some characteristics may vary depending on the type. We want to tell about the last of the listed representatives today.
Brown hare: description
This type differs from others in a larger size: its length can reach 68 cm, height - 30 cm. Weight ranges from 5 to 7 kg, it directly depends on the place of residence. In our country, the largest individuals reside in the territory of Bashkiria, and the smallest - southern hare.The hare has rather long (9-15 cm) ears and excellent hearing. In contrast to the white hare, the Ruska has a longer wedge-shaped tail, which is painted black above. In addition, the feet of the hare are longer and narrower. The eyes of the hare have a beautiful reddish brown color.
Representatives of this breed have a beautiful wavy silky hair. A distinctive feature of the hare is the color. It combines an indescribable mixture of various fawn, yellowish-gray, reddish tones with noticeable ripples that stand out particularly on the back. The fur in this place is curled and becomes like a good merly (so called lamb fur). Pay attention to the fact that the European brown hares living in the southern and western regions of the former Soviet Union do not change color throughout the year. In the northern regions and to the east, the hares only turn white a little, mainly from the sides. At the northern limit, in winter time, hares become almost white, only a dark band on the back remains. The tips and rims of the ears, as well as the upper part of the tail, always remain black.
Like all members of the hare family, animals have a seasonal molt twice a year - in spring and autumn. The beginning and date of this process are related to external conditions.Shedding occurs after a change in the length of daylight, and its duration depends on the air temperature. Spring molting begins at the end of winter or at the very beginning of spring, and lasts for 75-80 days. Shedding begins with the head and ends at the level of the lower limbs. Shedding in the fall on the contrary begins the back of the body and gradually passes to the head. Most often, it begins in September, and ends at the end of November. Fur for winter grows thicker, lush, it perfectly protects the animal from the cold. The molt completely changes the image of the hare, which allows it to better fit into the surrounding nature and to be less noticeable to its enemies.
Hearing and Smelling
The animal is perfectly adapted to living in open spaces. According to the description, the hare has good vision and is able to distinguish the danger at a distance of 300-400 m. The statement that the hare is “nearsighted” is erroneous, most likely it is caused by the fact that the animal is very curious and cannot always determine the level of danger. Perhaps for this reason, the hare may close to let the hunter.His sense of smell and hearing are no less acutely developed, which help him orient himself perfectly in his surroundings. There are many examples when an animal shows restraint, cunning, cunning. Habitat hare often located in close proximity to humans. Many hare habits talk about his intelligence, for example, in case of danger, he often seeks salvation in human settlements or hides in a herd of livestock.
This species of hares mainly inhabits the entire European part of our country - from Arkhangelsk to the coast of the Caspian Sea, from the western borders to the Trans-Urals. Its habitat zone is constantly expanding, for example, over the past 50-60 years, the border has moved eastward by about 1000 km. Rusakov was released where they had not previously lived, these are regions of Western Siberia and the Far East. Note that the attempts of scientists to acclimatize animals on the territory of Buryatia ended in failure. Rusaki have a commitment to the habitat selected once. Except for those individuals that live in the mountains. In winter, they descend to the foot, and after the snow melts, they again rise to the mountains.Each animal reserves a territory of 50 hectares. Rusak is a steppe hare, therefore it most often chooses open lands for living, it can be found next to fields planted with various agricultural crops, in ravines, ravines, gardens, meadows, on the outskirts of forests, in bushes.
Hare-hare in the way of life can be called a twilight nocturnal animal, during the daylight hours, he often rests on the days. However, if there is a high number of his relatives, the hare's habits may change, he becomes active during the daytime. He chooses a variety of places for laying, it depends on the weather, light, and the nature of the area.
Unlike other members of the hare family, rabbits, the hare never digs deep holes. Hare holes are small depressions in the ground and are under bushes or tree roots. In good sunny weather, they arrange their days in places where there is at least a small shelter. In winter, the bedding is generally not required, because the hares sleep right in the snow.
Despite its large size, the hare is able to develop a very high speed - up to 60 km / h. However, we note that it can move at such a pace for a relatively short time. While running, the hawk performs long jumps and changes direction dramatically. He skillfully knows how to entangle traces, run in large circles, winding through the terrain, thereby misleading his pursuers. Thanks to this method of movement the animal manages to escape from the predators pursuing it.
Many are interested in the question of whether the hares can swim. Surprisingly, although these animals do not like water and often stay away from it, they are good swimmers. The hare is practically a voiceless animal, and even in the mating season only occasionally gives a voice. Only in the case of an injured hare shouts loudly, the sound resembles a baby's cry.
The diet of the brown hare varies considerably in summer and winter. What it eats depends on the habitat, season and weather conditions.
With the onset of summer, the diet of the hare becomes more diverse. The animal eats more than 500 species of plants, preferring their green parts. He does not mind eating vegetables, melons, fruits.All this animals are mined in agricultural fields or making raids on gardens and orchards.
Consider what eats a hare with the onset of autumn. From this period of time, the diet of animals is increasingly composed of solid food. The main diet is branches of shrubs, withered grass, and various roots.
With the arrival of winter, especially in those regions where there is a lot of snow, it becomes harder for animals to get food. After all, a high level of snow cover is able to completely close all the food that hares eat in winter. Escaping from hunger, eared approach closer to human settlements. Significantly improve their quality of life in the harsh winters of haystacks, berries and fruits left on the bushes, fruits that lie on the ground in the fall (they dig them out from under the snow). Most of the diet at this time is tree bark. To do this, hares choose the following trees: willow, aspen, birch and other soft trees. Being at this time next to settlements or orchards, they are capable of causing great damage to gardening, as they almost completely gnaw the bark of fruit trees.
With the arrival of spring, the food supply of animals becomes more diverse due to young shoots, fresh grass, buds. To compensate for the nutrient deficiency, the hare uses ground, animal bones, and small pebbles.
It should be said that hares prefer to live not in flocks, but singly, they only join during the rut. Start mating depends on weather conditions. In the event that winter is warm enough, mating can begin as early as January, after frosty winters - at the very beginning of spring (March). Interesting behavior of animals in the mating season - they begin to tap a certain rhythm of the front paws on the surface of the earth. At this time, the males are trying in every way to attract the attention of females, fighting for this in spectacular fights.
The young are ready to mate at the age of 12 months. The duration of pregnancy can vary from 41-42 to 48-51 days. Most females give about 5 okrols per year, in each of which an average of 1 to 9 pups, but most often 2-5 babies.
Unlike the young rabbits, which are born naked and blind, the little hares are born in a fur coat and sighted.Their birth weight is 80-150 grams. The first few days they lie quietly, hiding in the hole. It is surprising that the female leaves the babies alone almost immediately after the birth and only returns occasionally to feed them. However, since all hares have offspring at the same time, each female passing by the hungry young will certainly feed them. This behavior is understandable. Kids do not have a smell, unlike adult animals, the less time the mother is next to the cubs, the more chance the latter do not become prey to predators. Due to the fact that hare's milk is distinguished by its high nutritional value (it contains up to 24% fat and 12% protein) and the early transition to green food, it is difficult to distinguish the three-month-old hare from the adult. How long does a hare live? On average, the life span of this animal is 6-7 years, in exceptional cases up to 12 years.
Rusaka in foreign countries
Hares of this species are widely distributed in the following countries: North America, Canada, South America, New Zealand, Australia and Oceania. Their population is growing steadily.At present, the hare has the status of a commercial animal. He is an object of sports and amateur hunting. In some countries, hares are exterminated as pests - due to the fact that they cause irreparable harm to agriculture: they damage winter crops and fruit trees (up to 15 landings can be picked up overnight).
The hare is one of those animals that are carriers of brucellosis, tularemia, coccidiosis, and pastel-cutter.
In our country, hunting for hares is very popular. It is an object of sport hunting, as well as fur trade. Mining is mainly carried out due to nutritious, unusually tasty meat and beautiful fur. The hunting period begins in October before the first snowfalls and lasts all winter. In nature, in addition to hunters, many other enemies have eared. The hare is prey of birds of prey; wolves, coyotes, lynxes, and foxes hunt it. Even magpies attack little hares. It is possible to preserve the population of the hare due to the fact that they are very prolific.