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Home Range and Ecology of Snowshoe Hares in Interior Alaska

Thomas P. O'Farrell
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1377626 406-418 First published online: 26 August 1965


Snowshoe hares were live-trapped on a 160-acre study area near the University of Alaska, College, Alaska. In 3,702 trap-nights 151 different hares were captured 324 times for a trapping success of 8.8%. The mean home range size was 14.5 acres. There was no significant difference in home range sizes between either males and females or males during the breeding season as compared to the remainder of the year. One female hare moved 12.5 miles. Animals appeared to be more “trap-shy” during the winter. Hares alternated in the use and disuse of runways depending upon snow quality. Two types of winter form and one summer form were utilized. The autumnal molt began during the first week in August and was completed by 1 November; the vernal molt commenced late in March and was completed by mid-June. The breeding season began in mid-March and ended in late July. A growth curve indicated that Alaskan hares attained adult weights in 90 to 120 days. Mortality was due partly to mammalian and avian predators and partly to “shock disease.”

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