Generally, hispid hares live in areas with tall-grass savannah. They enjoy habitats that are essentially flat, well drained, and thinly forested. Since hispid hares are dependent on the roots and shoots of thatch for food, they are associated with areas that have a high amount of thatch, commonly referred to as thatchland or elephant grass. This vegetation grows up to 3.5 meters in height (during the monsoon). (Burton and Burton, 1988; Ghose, 1978; Massicot, 2003; Nowak, 1999a; Oliver, 1978; Oliver, 1980)
In the early months of the year (January through April), the grassland and nearby forests are set on fire in an attempt to control the faunal composition of the region. Hispid hares move to cultivated fields and shelter on the banks of dried up streams. Once the monsoon reaches its peak, the thatch becomes waterlogged and (Burton and Burton, 1988; Ghose, 1978; Massicot, 2003; Nowak, 1999a; Oliver, 1978; Oliver, 1980)moves to the forested areas of nearby foothills.
- Terrestrial Biomes
- savanna or grassland
- Other Habitat Features
- Average mass
- 2.5 kg
- 5.51 lb
- Range length
- 405 to 538 mm
- 15.94 to 21.18 in
There is no available information about the mating systems of Caprolagus, we are not able to make any generalizations about reproduction in this species based on close relatives.. Because this species is the only one in the genus
Members of the family Leporidae are known to have a gestation of 25 to 50 days. Within the family, females usually give birth to between two and eight young, although there can be as many as 15 young per litter in some species. Females are typically polyestrous, and can give birth to several litters per year. (Nowak, 1999b)
- Key Reproductive Features
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Hispid hares breed once or twice per year.
- Breeding season
- Based on capture of pregnant females, breeding apparently occurs in late winter or early spring.
- Range number of offspring
- 2 to 5
There is little information available about the parental care habits of Lagomorpha. Most lagomorphs exhibit little or no parental care. Males have never exhibited any form of parental care, but females feed the young for about 5 minutes every 24 hours. This is the only contact between the mother and young. (MacDonald, 2001). It is assumed that this species is similar to other members of the order
- Parental Investment
- no parental involvement
Since hispid hares are hard to find, not much is known about their natural lifespan. In captivity, these animals do not survive very long. There were four or five hispid hares captured for the Gauhati Zoo during 1975, but they all died during transport. Another pair was captured in 1976 and was kept for two to three months until one escaped and the other was released. One captured hare wanted to avoid humans so much that he fractured his skull by dashing his head against the wire enclosure. (Oliver, 1978; Oliver, 1980)
The mean home range of males is approximately 8,204 square meters, but for females it is only 2,786 square meters. (Nowak, 1999a)
Communication and Perception
Not much is known about the communication of Leoporidae) secrete scent from glands in the groin area and under the chin. The scent is apparently used in sexual communication. Many rabbits and hares use foot drumming as a means of communication. (MacDonald, 2001; Nowak, 1999b). It is known that all rabbits and hares (members of the family
- Primary Diet
- Plant Foods
- roots and tubers
- wood, bark, or stems
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
- Positive Impacts
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Hispid hares are believed to be crop pests. (Nowak, 1999a)
- Negative Impacts
- crop pest
Hispid hares are one of the worlds rarest mammals. This animal was feared extinct in 1964, but in 1966, one was spotted. The range of this animal is much smaller than it once was. There were an estimated 110 hispid hares worldwide in 2001. Due to rapid habitat destruction, lack of success in captivity, and hunting, their numbers continue to shrink. As a result of their rarity, little is known about hispid hares. These animals are threatened mainly due to conversion of their habitat to agriculture and grassland burning. They are often confused with the more common Lepus nigricollis and are therefore hunted for food. They are also preyed on by dogs. (Burton and Burton, 1988; Ghose, 1978; Massicot, 2003; Nowak, 1999a; Nowak, 1999b; Oliver, 1978; Oliver, 1980)
Nancy Shefferly (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Sara Knoth (author), Michigan State University, Barbara Lundrigan (editor, instructor), Michigan State University.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
union of egg and spermatozoan
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
Burton, J., V. Burton. 1988. The Collins Guide to Rare Mammals of the World. Lexington, Massachusetts: The Stephen Greene Press.
Ghose, R. K. 1978. Observations on the Ecology and Status of the hispid Hare in Rajagarh Forest, Darrang District, Assam, in 1975 and 1976. Bombay Naturaly History Society Journal, Vol. 75: 206-209.
MacDonald, D. 2001. Rabbits and Hares. Pp. 693-702 in The Encyclopedia of Mammals, Vol. 3. New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc.
Massicot, P. 2003. "Animal Info-Information on Rare, Threatened and Endangered Mammals" (On-line ). Animal Info- Hispid Hare. Accessed 03/02/03 at http://www.animalinfo.org/species/caprhisp.htm.
Nowak, R. 1999. Bristly Rabbit, or Hispid "Hare". Pp. 1731-1732 in Walkers Mammals of the World, Vol. 2, 6th Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Nowak, R. 1999. Hares and Rabbits. Pp. 1720-1721 in Walker's Mammals of the World, Vol. 2, 6th Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Oliver, W. L. R. 1980. The Pygmy Hog: The Biology and Conservation of the Pigmy Hog and the Hispid Hare. Les Augres Manor, Trinity, Jersey, Channel Islands: Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust.
Oliver, W. L. R. 1978. The Doubtful Future of the Pigmy Hog and the Hispid Hare. Bombay Natural History Society Journal, Vol. 75: 341-372.