Snowshoe Hare

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Scientific Information

Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) is a species of hare found in North America. It has the name "snowshoe" because its back feet are so big, which prevent it from sinking into the snow when it hops and walks.

For camouflage, its fur turns white during the winter and rusty brown during the summer. Its flank are white year-round. The Snowshoe Hare is also distinguishable by the black tufts of fur on the edge of its ears. Its ears are shorter than those of most other hares.

Snowshoe hare populations fluctuate cyclically about once a decade—possibly because of disease. These waning and waxing numbers greatly impact the animals that count on hares for food, particularly the lynx. This ten year cycle was first noted by Hudson Bay Company trappers.

Community Information




Relevant Site Information

Not an especially prized animal here, they are sometimes taken for food and used in soups. Rabbit pelts are also sometimes tanned and used to line parkas.

Spoken Name


National Geographic Society. Snowshoe Hare. 1996-2009.

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