Species of the Month: March 2017


Brown Hare Lepus europaeus

Lepus europaeus (Causse Méjean, Lozère)-cropped 

Image by Jean-Jacques Boujot, taken from Wikimedia Commons

Brown Hare are similar to the ever present European Rabbit, but are larger with longer legs and large black tipped ears. Mountain Hare Lepus timidus is also found in the UK, but this smaller species is only found in mountainous areas, and is restricted to Snowdonia within Wales. Brown Hare are widespread on arable land but are usually a shy species which is hard to see. However, during Spring Brown Hare can be seen chasing each other and sometimes "boxing" during their mating rituals. This unusual behaviour is the origin of the phrase "Mad as a March hare".

Brown Hare are found throughout south Wales, though we only have 955 records in the SEWBReC database. You can view the Welsh distribution here on Aderyn. More information about Brown Hare is available from the Mammal Society.

If you spot Brown Hare during March (or at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via our Species of the Month form on SEWBReCORD (nb. you will need to be signed into SEWBReCORD to use this link). Instructions on how to submit records are available here.