Larger than rabbits, with longer hind legs and ears. Have especially large, furry feet which help with staying active in the winter. Most have a white winter coat that turns brown in the spring during snow melt, with the exception of snowshoe hares in Olympic National Park, which stay brown all year. Solitary, other than when breeding, often resting during the day.
Breeding season is typically February to August, with young being born from May to August. Litter size ranges from 1 to 6, with an average of 3. Life span is about two years, but ranges up to six years. Summer diet consists of grasses and other greens; winter diet includes twigs, bark and buds.
Prefer coniferous and mixed forests with abundant understory. Nest in hollow logs or ground depressions; underground burrows are usually avoided.
The range of Lepus americanus is in the western and northeastern United States and most of Canada.
In the Southwest region the population is vulnerable; in the Northwest region they are secure; the population in the East ranges from critically imperiled to secure.
- National Parks Service - Showshoe Hare at http://www.nps.gov/olym/naturescience/snowshoe-hare.htm
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