Cape Hare - Lepus capensis

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Scrub Hare - Lepus saxatilis | Cape Hare - Lepus capensis

 


Afrikaans Vlakhaas
Shona Tsuro Zulu Logwaja
Shangaan Mpfundla Tswana Mmutlwa


Tracks
F 2cm
H 3cm

Distribution Dung
1.5cm
Slightly oval and flattened
Pale-colored with rough surface

Unusual features/differences from similar animals

 The under parts in Scrub Hare are white with an ochre-buff band. The tail is black on top and white underneath. Runs away with ears held erect, Scrub Hare runs with ears held flat

Male-Female Differences

Females are slightly heavier than males.

Habitat

Open grassland or grassland with light scrub; prefers more open habitat than the scrub hare and occurs in desert. 

Diet

Short and green grass is preferred. Browses bushes in the Karoo in winter.

Reproduction

Gestation 42 days. Litters of up to 3 (average 1,6) are born above ground at any time of year, with a peak in summer. Eaten by small carnivores from Small spotted cat and larger cats as well as by large raptors.

Behavior and Habits

Active from dusk to dawn and often active during the day in overcast weather. During the day they rest in small patches of flattened vegetation (called forms) in patches of thicker cover or under bushes to which they return over a period of days. They remain in the form until approached closely after which they run off with ears held erect. Solitary, although small groups may be seen together on good grazing. A female on heat may be covered by more than one male who fights for mating rights. When pursued by a predator the hare runs straight until the predator has just caught up with it and then very rapidly sidesteps to the side.. Cape hares use holes dug by other animals, a behavior which has not been recorded for scrub hares.

Sounds

A very soft grunting sound or a loud squeal when caught.

Dung and Field sign

Small heaps of pellets about 1-1.5cm long, slightly flattened blunt ovals, pale coloured and rough surfaced. Forms showing the impression of the fore and hind parts of the body.   In the spoor the marks of the pads of the hind feet are obscured by the long hair between them.

 



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