African Hare | African Wildlife Foundation

The African hare has been
hunted for sport for centuries

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African Hare

Conservation Status:

Least Threatened

  • Native to more than 25 African countries
  • Can leap up to 10 ft.
  • Ears are more than 4 in. long

Quick Facts

Scientific name

Lepus microtis

Weight

4 lb.

Size

20 in. long

Life span

12 years

Habitat

Wooded savanna

Diet

Omnivorous

Predators

Humans

Habitat

Where do African hares live?

African hares are found throughout Africa in wooded savannas. 

Tags: Kazungula, Limpopo, Regional Parc W, Virunga, East Africa, Southern Africa, West/Central Africa View Africa | Habitat

Physical Characteristics

What is the African hare?

The African hare has two pairs of chisel–shaped incisors—teeth that have evolved for cutting and nipping vegetation. It measures 20 inches, with a strong hind foot that measures about 4 inches, and mobile ears that are as long or longer.

 

Behavior & Diet

The African hare prefers the nighttime.

It spends most of the day lying in a “form”—a depression in the ground or under bushes. Hares do not dig burrows like rabbits do.

Sometimes, the African hare eats its own droppings.

Hares eat leaves, buds, roots, berries, fungi, bark, and twigs. Like rabbits, hares produce two types of droppings—the first is soft and rich in vitamins and is reingested for maximum nutrient gain, and the second is hard, dry, and pellet–like.

Females do not spend much time with their young.

The female hare gives birth to one or two young, which are born fully haired and with open eyes. The mother only spends a short amount of time each day suckling the young; the rest of the time they hide in forms trying to avoid the attention of predators.

Hares run away when threatened.

To protect themselves, African hares rely on camouflage, speed, and their senses of hearing and smell. If an enemy is near, the hare will freeze and crouch low to the ground. If danger continues to approach, the hare may pop into the air and dash away in a zigzag pattern. The hare gives a shrill scream if in peril but is otherwise mostly silent.

 

Gallery
  • African Hare Mark Boulton
  • African Hare Alejandro Tawil
  • African Hare AWF
  • African Hare AWF
Challenges

Humans prey on the African hare.

The hare has been hunted for centuries, not only for its meat and fur, but also just for sport.

The hare is losing living space.

Human settlement, ranching, and the fencing of land result in the loss of the African hare’s habitat.

Solutions

Our solutions to protecting the African hare:

  • Provide agricultural training.

    African Wildlife Foundation engages communities living near wildlife to create sustainable practices for agricultural and settlement growth by providing training on best practices and incentivizing conservation agriculture when appropriate. This helps increase agricultural and economic productivity and allows communities to rely less on hunting their local wildlife and exhausting populations.

  • Expand conservation education.

    In Zambia, AWF rebuilt Lupani School, in exchange for the Sekute communities’ efforts in wildlife conservation. By working with rural communities that live in close proximity to wildlife in order to incentivize conservation and weave it into primary school education, we are providing tangible benefits to wildlife conservation.

Projects

Will you show the African hare your support?

With your help, AWF can work on critical initiatives like providing education for sustainable agriculture and incentivizing conservation by building schools. Donate for a cause that will help with wildlife conservation and ensure the African hare does not become an endangered species.

  • Ngoma Lodge
    Incentivizing conservation through ecotourism

    A national park too small to house African wildlife.

    Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana is densely populated by wildlife and boasts a large elephant population...

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