INDIAN HARE/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus

INDIAN HARE

INDIAN HARE


DESCRIPTION: The characteristic hare of the Indian Subcontinent, the Indian Hare is reddish brown with black hair mixed throughout its face and dorsal parts. It has whitish underparts. The hare has long, ovate ears, with clear venation that stands out against the thin skin of the ears. The legs are long, with the hind legs being longer than the forelegs. females are larger than males. L.n. ruficaudatus of northern India has a rufous tail and a dark brown patch on its nape. The nominate subspecies – L.n. nigricollis – in southern India is larger with a black patch on the back of its neck, and its tail is black on top. In the arid and desert regions of the west, L.n. dayanus is paler and sandy yellow in colour.

BEHAVIOUR: A very territorial hare, it defends up to 100,000 sq. m of land against rival males. They use several shelters every day, these ‘forms’ being changed even at different times of the day. The hare is generally crepuscular to nocturnal and shy even though common throughout the country.

DISTRIBUTION: The species is found from the foothills of the Himalayas through peninsular and north–east India (except the Sunderbans, West Bengal). The subspecific distribution is unclear, but broadly follows: L.n. nigricollis in southern India; L.n. ruficaudatus in northern and central India; and L.n. dayanus in arid parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

HABITAT: Open scrub, short, grassy patches and overgrazed forest land except high altitudes and mangroves (up to 2,400 m in the Himalayas, 2,000 m in the Western Ghats). It is replaced by the Woolly Hare and the desert Hare in the Himalayas at higher altitudes. Where it is conspecific with the Hispid Hare, e.g., at Manas NP, Assam, it prefers more open habitat to the dense grassland habitat of the latter.

 Size: 33–53 cm

IUCN Status: Least Concern

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