Hare white hare
Large hare. Length of a body of adult animals fluctuates from 44 to 65 cm, occasionally to 74 cm, and the weight from 2, 5 to 5, 5 kg. The average sizes decrease from the northwest by the southeast. The largest white hares live in the north of the Western and Central Siberia, the smallest in Transbaikalia and in the south of the Far East. In coloring accurately expressed seasonal dimorphism is observed: in the winter this hare purely - white, except for tips of ears which remain black, in the summer coloring of a back reddish-brown, reddish-gray or gray, differing at animals from various parts of an area. The head is usually painted slightly more darkly than a back, and sides are lighter. The belly is white. Coloring of a tail is similar to coloring of a back both in the summer, and in the winter, a form its roundish. Ears are long, but is much shorter, than at a hare - the bent-down ear does not come or only slightly comes for a nose tip. Paws are wide, in the winter they besides from below are densely trimmed elastic hairs. Load of 1 cm2 of the area of paws at a white hare only 8, 5-12 g that allows it to move easily even on friable snow. Females are on average slightly larger than males, on coloring they do not differ.
It is widespread almost in all territory of Russia, does not meet only in the south of a steppe zone, to Ciscaucasia and in the mountains of the Caucasus. On the North almost everywhere reaches coasts of the Arctic Ocean, inhabits also some Arctic islands (Novosibirsk, Vaygach, Kolguev). In Siberia to mountains rises to tundra and goltsovy zones, i.e. by height more than 2000 m. In Belarus the hare white hare meets across all territory, however density of his population is much higher in the central and northern regions.
Upholstered in various natural zones, the hare white hare occupies very different grounds. The grounds inhabited by him have to satisfy fodder inquiries of a small animal and provide rather reliable protection. Seasonal redistribution on grounds in areas of dwelling is explained by it as unevenness of settling of various territories within an extensive area of a look, and. In days of the high number of a habitat are more various, than with an average and low number. Practically in all territory of Russia the increased number in valleys of the large rivers where the hare white hare finds not only good fodder conditions is traced, but also escapes from parasites, arranging "swimming baths" in sand on beaches.
In the tundra keeps first of all on valleys of the rivers, coast of lakes and local decreases of a relief, i.e. in those places where thickets of bushes and in any case meet, the vegetation is richer, than in the surrounding territory. It is very characteristic of a forest-tundra zone.
In a taiga zone of the European part of Russia meets everywhere, but distribution of small animals strongly depends on types of habitats and a season. Being mainly forest animal, almost does not meet on extensive open bogs. On the other hand, it is not numerous also in continuous forests, especially in old fir groves with a high density of a forest stand, pine forests, listvennichnik. In a taiga are most attractive to a white hare of the wood, dismembered by valleys of small rivers and streams, and also partially changed by the person - with sites growing gary and cuttings down (though on fresh cuttings down the hare is rare). In this regard meets near settlements more often here.
The central regions of Russia with high mosaicity of grounds in which coniferous forests adjoin with deciduous are very favorable for the sake of appearances, and the areas of bushes and young growth on cuttings down and the growing farmland are very big. In purely deciduous woods at the same time meets seldom.
In the south of Western Siberia in the forest-steppe it is usual on birch splittings. In Altai and in Sayan Mountains meets from the foothills to a goltsovy zone, but most often in the woods prevalence of deciduous breeds, on edges and at settlements.
In Eastern Siberia it is usual both in valleys of the rivers with osier-beds, and in listvennichnik with the developed underbrush and on growing garyakh. In the mountains of Siberia and the Far East quite often keeps on thickets of a cedar stlanik and on sites of the mountain tundra with the stony taluses harboring hares.
From seasonal movements within the small territory resettlements in the woods with more developed underbrush providing to white hares the best protection, and in the spring to open places where the first grass appears are characteristic in the fall. In the north of an area in the summer hares, escaping from midges, migrate to floodplains of the rivers or other rather open grounds, and otkochevyvat on sites with low snow cover in the winter, including in the top belt of mountains. Deposits in rainy years hares can serve in Western Siberia as the reasons of local movements leave lowlands with splittings and move to sublime places.
With a normal number and lack of abnormal external influences hares white hares lead a settled life. Each small animal keeps in a certain territory which he well knows. The are more suitable for hares of a habitat and above their number, the it is less sizes of an individual site. At seasonal change of natural boundaries (see above) sites is 2-3 times more, than without that. The most active movements which are not exceeding, however, several kilometers are noted in autumn time upon transition to winter forages and search of the grounds possessing good protective properties.
In some areas (the tundra of the northeast of the European part and Siberia, Yakutia) with severe winter conditions mass migrations of white hares at which centesimal and even thousand packs of small animals are observed are sometimes noted. As a rule, they are dated for years with a high number of hares and connected both with a certain deficiency of forages, and with the low-studied behavioural reactions noted at flashes of number at different types of animals
Hare white hare mainly twilight or night animal. It is most active in evening and morning dawns. However during different seasons, in different areas and under various meteoconditions there can be a change of a daily rhythm. Usually feeding ("greasing") begins with sunset and comes to an end by the dawn, but is not enough with summer of night time and hares are fed in the mornings. In places where they are not disturbed, white hares can begin to be fed to sunset. In the summer at abundance of midges hares pass to day food when insects are not so active, day greasings are noted also during rutting. Usually the extent of a night zhirovochny trace ("malik") makes 1-2 km since part of time the hare has a rest at places of feeding, but in moonlight frosty nights the hare can pass 5-8 km. Before thaw, snowfalls and rainy weather the white hare often does not come for feeding at all. Partially losses of energy in such days are made up by a kaprofagiya (food by excrement) on a lezhka. The hare spends usually day on a lezhka. The hare most often suits Lezhka under a fir-tree, in dense bushes, in heaps of brushwood, under valezhiny, etc. In the absence of concern the white hare for the device of thighs uses one area, and sometimes uses the same thigh. In winter time the lezhka is covered better, than in the summer. In the summer on the place of a lezhka the hare tramples down a grass only a little, in the winter in thaw and hard frosts he digs in hole snow to 1 - 1, 5 m long to whom can spend the whole day. A swarm a hole, the white hare condenses friable snow, without throwing out it outside. The longest holes occur among bushes on lawns or edges - where snow depth the greatest.
The choice of the place for a lezhka substantially depends on weather conditions. In thaw or rainy weather the hare white hare quite often suits himself a lezhka near the place of greasing - in an osier-bed, under juniper bushes, and sometimes even in a pashenny furrow. Usually for the place of a lezhka the covered places where it is easier for small animal to hide from enemies are chosen.
From the place of a lezhka to the place of feeding hares run along the same route, especially in the winter. At the same time they nataptyvat tracks which several small animals noticeable even usually use in the summer. In the winter on well natoptanny track, without failing, there can be even a person without skis.
Going on a lezhka, the hare usually moves long jumps. When approaching to a lezhka the animal fouls the trail. It does a little "vzdvoyek" (returns on the trace) and "smetok" or "discounts" (big jumps from a trace aside). Vzdvoyki of a white hare usually have extent in several meters. Sometimes the hare straivat traces. Complication of traces allows a hare to hear a predator and to leave beforehand a lezhka while the persecutor is late, solving a vzdvoyka and wit.
Hare white hare a herbivorous animal with accurately expressed seasonality of consumption of various forages. In the spring and in the summer he is fed with green parts of various, mainly grassy plants. The quantity of the species of plants used in food during this period is very high that is connected both with "pantophagy" of an animal, and with extensive area of distribution. The preference is given in various parts of an area and types of habitats to a clover, a dandelion, a bird vetch, a yarrow, a golden rod, a lady's bedstraw, sedge, cereals, etc. It is willingly fed with oats and a clover on fields. In the Northwest in a large number eats escapes and fruits of bilberry, and in the Far East leaves of willows. Places noted eating of mushrooms, in particular, of cervine truffle which animals dig out of the earth. In the fall, in process of drying of grassy vegetation, hares begin to eat young branches of bushes and low shrubs, first of all willows and bilberry, and also aspen bark. With establishment of snow cover food by rough sterns gains the increasing value. In the winter as the main food serve young escapes of various trees and bushes and their bark. The structure of the prevailing forages in different regions of the country has noticeable differences. Almost everywhere hares eat various willows, in places of growth of an aspen willingly eat it. Birches and larches are eaten not so willingly, but, being the prevailing breeds in huge territories, are an important source of food, especially in northern and east areas. In the south the white hare quite often eats escapes of broad-leaved trees and bushes - an oak, a maple, a filbert. In places in food the role of a mountain ash, an alder, a juniper, a dogrose is big. At an opportunity and eats grassy plants and berries in the winter, being fed on the vyduva deprived of snow on sublime places or eating hay in stacks. In mountains of the Far East digs out izpod snow of the cone of a cedar stlanik and eats nuts. As well as all herbivorous animals, a white hare lacks mineral salts. Therefore he periodically uses salt inclusions in the soil and swallows small stones, coming for this purpose to coast of the rivers, roads or other places with the absent soil cover. Willingly visits solonetzic soils. Quite often hares gnaw bones the fallen animals and the horns dumped by elks.
Polovozrelymi hares become the next year after the birth. In the Arctic, in the north of Yakutia and on Chukotka white hares manage to bring forth offspring only once during the season, but on the most part of an area they breed several times in a year. The quantity of a dung is equal in northern and east parts of an area to two, and in southern - we rub. Depending on weather conditions and a physiological condition of animals rutting takes place more or less amicably and the bigger or smaller quantity of hares takes part in it. Females during rutting let out characteristic cry - "kuverkanye" to attract males. During rutting the female is pursued by several males. Quite often between them there are fights.
The first rutting takes place at the beginning of March, and sometimes and at the end of February, in the south of an area, at the end of March in the north of the European part of Russia, the North of Western Siberia, in the south of Yakutia and on Sakhalin, and in April - the beginning of May in the north of Yakutia, on Chukotka and probably in the Arctic areas of Siberia. The majority, but not all females (80-90%) participates in it usually. Leverets are born approximately in 50 days - in the middle of April - the middle of May. In the woods at this time in places snow therefore leverets of the first dung, especially early, "nastovikam" call still lies.
Soon after the delivery - in May beginning of June the doe hare copulates again. The second cycle of reproduction passes in optimum conditions, and practically all females take part in it. Leverets of the second dung are born at the end of June - July.
In July - the beginning of August in the central and southern regions (very seldom in the north) Russia there takes place the third rutting In it the small number of females takes part (to 40%). Leverets of the third dung are born at the end of August - the beginning of September, and sometimes at late rutting at the end of this month, and meet during a leaf fall time why are called "listopadnik".
Sometimes at a white hare deviations from terms of normal reproduction are observed. Occasionally the first leverets meet in March, and the last even in November. Early and overdue broods are, as a rule, doomed to death.
The number of leverets in a dung hesitates quite strongly depending on the geographical territory, age and a physiological condition of a female and a reproductive cycle Usually them is 3-6, is more rare less (1-2) or more (to 11). As a rule, broods it is more in areas where white hares breed only once in a year (Yakutia). At several reproductive cycles the greatest number of leverets happens in the second dung falling on the beginning - the middle of summer
Childbirth takes place in secluded places in the wood, but the white hare female usually does not suit special shelters. Only on Far North doe hares sometimes dig out superficial holes. Leverets are born sighted people and covered with wool. In the first day of life they are capable to move independently Hare milk very fat (to 23% of fats) - the doe hare can feed in this regard leverets not more often than once a day, and sometimes Having less often fed leverets, she usually leaves and comes back only next day Leverets grow quickly and for 8 - 10 day already begin to be fed up by a grass Independent they become approximately at two-week age. At a white hare feeding cases are known for doe hares of foreign leverets. Perhaps even, this phenomenon quite usually.
White hares live in the nature till 7-8 years though the vast majority does not live them also up to five-year age. The white hare two times a year - in the spring and fades in the fall. Terms and intensity of a molt depend on the light mode and air temperature. Change of duration of light day starts process of a molt, and temperature determines the speed of its course the Spring molt begins on the most part of an area since February-March and at the first stage proceeds hardly noticeably, however then passes very violently. Its peak falls usually on the snow descent period, at this time winter wool falls down literally shreds Duration of process of a molt makes about 75-80 days, and completely refading small animals meet from the middle of May in the south of before June in northern areas. In the north of Eastern Siberia and the Far East the beginning of a spring molt falls on April-May, and it proceeds even more violently, approximately in a month. In general the molt goes from the head to back part of a body and from a back to a belly, but separate sites of top of a body (ears, a nape) fade late, along with hips and a rump. The autumn molt begins in rather close terms (the end of August - September) throughout a white hare area though schedules of its beginning can be moved up a little depending on weather conditions. At the majority of hares the autumn molt lasts about 80 days and comes to an end by the time of establishment of snow cover, however in separate years snow can drop out to a pobeleniye of hares or, on the contrary, hares completely perelinivat before snow loss. In the fall hares fade from back part of a body, extremities and a belly to a back and the head where the remains of summer fur keep especially long. Adult hares fade young people slightly earlier. At the weakened animals the molt drags on and not completely refading hares can be met till December.
To find traces of stay of hares not easy because of vegetation in the summer. Only on dirt in koleyakh forest roads yes on coast of the rivers it is possible, having looked narrowly, to find prints of their claws. Traces of paws at the same time practically do not imprint.
In winter time traces of hares come across in the woods and on suburbs of fields very often. Hares only gallop move, at the same time hind legs during a jump are taken out forward. Distinguish three types of hare nasled: fodder, or zhirovochny, running and gonny.
During feeding the hare moves small jumps. Prints of paws on places of greasing are pulled together, hinder legs are only a little taken out for forward, and at times and not taken out. A running trace - more or less long jumps at which the animal brings hind legs far for forward. It puts them almost in parallel, and takes out one of forward legs for stability a little forward. Soles of hinder legs at a running trace imprint completely. The Gonny mark is left quickly running (for example, escaping from the persecutor) by a hare. Jumps in this case it is even more, hind legs are put one ahead of another why the trace is stretched in length, and prints of paws lie close to a straight line. At fast run hinder legs leave prints not of all sole but only fingers - the hare runs on tips of paws. Traces of a white hare differ from traces of a hare in more rounded shape and less pointed forward part of a trace. The difference in sizes of prints of forward and back paws at a white hare is much less, than at a hare. The trace of a white hare also is, as a rule, larger than a trace of a hare, even at the smaller sizes of the animal.
Besides nasled it is easy to find traces of greasings of hares in the winter. Branches of bushes in places of feedings "are cut accurately off", sometimes on snow level. At numerous within several years of an obkusyvaniya of escapes on branches of trees characteristic educations can be noted. At mass winter invasion of hares in certain areas almost elimination of thin branches of bushes and subgrowth higher than the level of snow is observed. It is also possible to find bark pogryza on young trunks of trees. Besides, on places of greasings there is always a lot of hare dung, it is better noticeable in the winter. Especially many traces happen about the tumbled-down aspens - a favourite forage of hares in the winter. Bark from branches of such trees, thin and average on thickness, is picked completely.