Arctic Hare Facts and Information

Lepus arcticus

Introduction to Arctic Hare

The Arctic Hare is often called the Polar Rabbit. It is one of the few animals in the world that is able to survive in such cold conditions of the Arctic. It is able to survive in freezing cold temperatures due to a very thick coat that offers it warmth. They are able to dig so that they can create holes underground to live in. They are larger and mature faster than other species of Hares.

Arctic Hare Description

The Arctic Hare has ears that are much taller than other species of Rabbits but they are smaller overall to help them maintain body heat. They are very fast runners with a top speed of up to 40 miles per hour for short periods of time. The legs are long and they are very powerful. The feet are much larger than the legs and there is a reason for that. It allows them to be able to run on top of the snow rather than sinking in it.

Class Mammalia
Order Lagomorpha
Family Leporidae
Genus Lepus
Conservation status Least Concern

During the winter months they are completely white so that they can blend in with the snow. Yet in the summer they can be gray or brown. These color changes allow the Arctic Hare to be able to blend in well with their surroundings. This allows them to sneak up on prey and to also stay hidden from predators.

They weigh from 9 to 12 pounds and they are usually about 22 inches long. They do have a tail but it is very small and hard to see if you aren’t looking closely for it. The overall size of them will vary based on location and food supply. They have very good vision.

Arctic Hare Distribution

Alaska, Greenland, and Canada are the regions where the Arctic Hare is found. They live in areas where there are very few predators. However, there are very few types of prey for the predators out there. They rely on being able to burrow under the ground to get away from various types of predators.

Arctic Hare Behavior

Most of the time the Arctic Hare lives alone. However, they have been seen in groups. It is believed that they are able to do so in order to get warmth from so many bodies in close proximity. They are very social when they need to preserve body heat. However, experts don’t believe that they gather to socialize on any other level.

Arctic Hare Facts

Arctic Hare – Lepus arcticus

Arctic Hare Feeding

Woody plants, berries, grass, leaves, and small insects are what the Arctic Hare consumes. They have an excellent sense of smell that allows them to dig for food under the cover of snow. They can spend many hours per day finding food. They will consume what they can get access to. That can change based on the various seasons. They can use their paws to pick up food and eat it or they can use their mouth alone to complete the process.

Arctic Hare Reproduction

During mating season the Arctic Hare will spread out more than before. As they find a mate they will create a location for the pair. The males may end up mating with more than one female if the territories overlap. April and May are the months for mating.

The young are born in the late part of spring or the early part of summer. They have their eyes open and a full body of fur to keep them well protected. A liter of young is around 6. They will stay with their mother for only the first few weeks of life. They will then be on their own to survive. They will be able to mate themselves the following spring. The average lifespan of the Arctic Hare is 3 to 5 years.

Arctic Hare Information

Arctic Hare Facts and Information


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