Monday, 3 October 2016

European Hare (Lepus europaeus) - Λαγός - Λαός - (Pallas, 1778) - Cyprus

Endemic subspecies of Cyprus

The European hare (Lepus europaeus), also known as the brown hare, is a species of hare native to Europe and parts of Western Asiaand Central Asia. It is a mammal adapted to temperate, open country. It is related to and looks very similar to the European rabbit, which is in the same family but in a different genus. Hares are larger than the European rabbit, have longer ears and hind legs and breed on the ground rather than in a burrow. They rely on speed to escape from predators.
Generally nocturnal and shy in nature, hares change their behaviour in the spring, when they can be seen in broad daylight chasing one another around fields and meadows. During this spring frenzy, they can be seen striking one another with their paws ("boxing"). For a long time, this had been thought to be competition between males, but closer observation has revealed it is usually a female hitting a male, either to show she is not yet ready to mate or as a test of his determination. This species has a fairly long breeding season which lasts from January to August. Hares are herbivorous and feed on grasses, herbs, twigs, buds, bark and field crops. Their natural predators include birds of prey, canids and felids
.European hares are primarily herbivorous. During the summer, they eat grasses, herbs and field crops. Their preference is for wild grasses and weeds but with the intensification of agriculture, they have taken to feeding on crops. During the winter, they eat herbage, twigs, buds and the bark of shrubs and young fruit trees.They have been known to eat their own green, pellet feces to recover proteins and vitamins. Two to three adult hares can eat more food than a single sheep.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 Photos and video Nicosia,Geri  by George Konstantinou

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