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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Lagomorpha · Leporidae · Lepus othus

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Lepus othus

Alaskan Hare

Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae

Image of Lepus othus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Female Alaskan Hares nurse their young for an extended period, providing them with enough nutrition to grow extraordinarily quickly during the short Alaskan summer. There are an average of six furry little hares in a litter, and females usually bear just one litter per year. Alaskan Hares are among the largest hares. Their fur in winter is completely white except for black markings on the tips of the ears, and they molt to a darker summer coat that provides camouflage when the snow melts. They live in alder thickets and seem to ignore rain or snow instead of seeking shelter. Even very young hares in nests are regularly exposed to cold and rain.

Also known as:

Alaska Tundra Hare, St. Michael's Hare, Swift Hare, Alaska Arctic Hare, Tundra Hare, Alaska Peninsula Hare, Ukalisukruk, Ugalishugruk, Ushkanuk, Okhotsk, Oo-skon


Average: 597 mm
Range: 565-690 mm


Average: 4,800 g
Range: 3,900-7,200 g


Merriam, C.H., 1900.  Papers from the Harriman Alaska Expedition. I. Descriptions of twenty-six new mammals from Alaska and British North America, p. 28.  Proceedings of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 2:13-30.


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Distribution of Lepus othus

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