UK Safari Home Page
   A Website for Anyone Interested in the
   Wildlife and Countryside of Britain

Nature Photo

 Home  |  Identify It  |  Nature Shop  |  Photography  |  Archive  |  Latest News  |  E-Cards


 

Free Newsletter

NewsletterSent to you
by e-mail

Simply enter your details and hit the send button
more info

Your name

e-mail address  



Search
 

First Visit?
Click Here


Explore More


Links
Advertise
Terms of Use
Contributors
About Us
Contact Us

 

Go back Go Back  |  Bookmark Add to Favourites  |  Print Page Print Page  | E-Mail Us Tell us what you think of this page

More Mad March Hares
____________________________________________________
Posted: 20th March 2008



They may look like rabbits, but in fact these animals are hares.  But not ordinary hares!  Take another look at the photos...


SPLITTING HARES
Notice the shorter, rabbit-like ears, and the honey-blond coloured fur.  These are Irish Hares (Lepus timidus hibernicus).  They were thought to be a sub-species of the Mountain Hare
(Lepus timidus), however research by Natural Heritage Research Partnership showed they may be an entirely separate species.  They could be Irelands only endemic mammal - found nowhere else in the world.


UNDER THREAT
Recent estimates by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency put the Irish Hare population at around 40,000, but this could be highly optimistic.  Despite this, the Irish Hare can still be legally hunted.  The introduction of the Brown Hare has created an added threat.  Conservationists are concerned that the Brown hares could interbreed with Irish hares causing their local extinction.


WHERE TO SEE THEM
These ones were photographed by Elizabeth Close in County Down, but according to the Ulster Wildlife Trusts, one of the best places to spot Irish hares is at Belfast International Airport (hareport?), where they can sometimes be seen passing through the long stay car park.






Track Down More Info

UK Safari Brown Hare Fact File
UK Safari Rabbit Fact File
UK Safari Mammal Section
UK Safari News





Identification
Charts



  2009 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved