Hare Biology

Identification | Biology | Damage ID | Management | Handling


Members of the genus Lepus are born well-furred and able to move about. Little or no nest is prepared, although the young are kept hidden for 3 to 4 days. Females may produce up to 4 litters per year with 2 to 8 young per litter. Reproductive rates may vary from year to year depending on environmental conditions.


Where food and shelter are available in one place, no major daily movement of hares occurs. When food and shelter areas are separated, morning and evening movements may be observed. Daily movements of 1 to 2 miles (1.6 to 3.2 km) each way are fairly common. In dry seasons, 10-mile (16-km) round trips from desert to alfalfa fields have been reported.

Food Habits

Hares eat 1/2 to 1 pound of green vegetation every day. Food consists of grasses, forbs, ferns, fruit, leaves, and shrubs. In winter, hares will eat twigs, bark from branches. Eight jackrabbits are estimated to eat as much as one sheep, and 41 jackrabbits as much as one cow.