|We have made pages with wildlife in Africa,
and several single countries as Kazakhstan,
in Russia, Scotia
Sea in Antactic and several
others. All the time we have hoped to be able to come
with wildlife in North-America, that is Canada and USA, including
Alaska, but not Hawaii.
Now we have been going through 924 pictures at USFWS National
Digital Library, and have chosen about 180 images
of North-American wildlife. This is what we are going to start
with, and hopefully we will be able to include some more
pictures, and possibly videos too, from other sources while working
on these pages. Please be patient.
We start on February 20th, 2012.
aggregation , Rangifer tarandus. On the Arctic Refuge
Contributors Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to USFWS
|The reindeer, Rangifer tarandus, also known as
the caribou in North America, is a deer from the Arctic
including both resident and migratory populations. While overall
widespread and numerous, as on the picture above,
some of its subspecies are rare and one (or two, depending on
taxonomy) has already gone extinct.
Reindeer vary considerably in color and size. Both sexes grow
antlers, though they are typically larger in males.
There are a few populations where females lack antlers completely.
Wild reindeer hunting and herding of semi-domesticated reindeer
(for meat, hides, antlers, milk and transportation) are
important to several Arctic and Subarctic people.
reindeer on Atka Island which is part of the Aleutian Islands
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve,
Peary caribou, Rangifer tarandus pearyi, found
in the northern islands of the Nunavut and the NW Territories
Svalbard reindeer, Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus,
found on the Svalbard Is.of Norway, is the smallest subspecies.
Mountain reindeer, Rangifer tarandus tarandus,
found in the Arctic tundra of Eurasia, including the Fennoscandia
Porcupine caribou or Grant's caribou, Rangifer
tarandus granti, which are found in Alaska, Northwest Territories
of Canada. Very similar to Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus,
and probably better regarded as a junior synonym of that subspecies.
Still a lot of discussion between scientists about what
is what, so will put that aside until further.
and Sea Ice
Contributors Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to USFWS
The females usually measure 162205 cm
in length and weigh 80120 kg. The males (or "bulls")
are typically larger
(although the extent to which varies in the different subspecies),
measuring 180214 cm in length and usually weighing 160182
kg though exceptionally large males have weighed as much as
318 kg. Shoulder height typically measure from 85 to 150 cm,
and the tail is 14 to 20 cm long. The subspecies Rangifer
tarandus platyrhynchus from Svalbard island is very small
to other subspecies (a phenomenon known as insular dwarfism),
with females having a length of approximately 150 cm,
and a weight around 53 kg in the spring and 70 kg in the autumn.
Males are approximately 160 cm long, and weigh around 65 kg
in the spring and 90 kg in the autumn. The reindeer from Svalbard
are also relatively short-legged and may have a shoulder height
of as little as 80 cm.
|The colour of the fur varies considerably,
both individually, and depending on season
and subspecies. Northern populations, which usually are relatively
small, are whiter,
while southern populations, which typically are relatively large,
This can be seen well in North America, where the northernmost
Peary caribou, is the whitest and smallest subspecies of the
continent, while the
southernmost subspecies, the Woodland Caribou, is the darkest
The coat has two layers of fur: a dense woolly undercoat and
overcoat consisting of hollow, air-filled hairs.
black bear, Ursus
|Reindeer are ruminants, having a four-chambered stomach. They
mainly eat lichens in winter, especially reindeer
moss. However, they also eat the leaves of willows and birches,
as well as sedges and grasses. There is some
evidence to suggest that on occasion, they will also feed on
lemmings, arctic char, and bird eggs.
Reindeer herded by the Chukchis
have been known to devour mushrooms enthusiastically in late
bear, Ursus americanus, in the bushes
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve, Courtesy: USFWS
|The American black bear or North American black bear, Ursus
americanus is a medium-sized bear native to North America.
It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species.
Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly
depending on season and location. They typically live in largely
forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food.
Drummond, a 13 km² natural lake, is located in
the heart of Great Dismal Swamp
Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because
of the immediate availability of food. The American black bear
have a ' widespread distribution and a large global population
estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined.
American black bears often mark trees using their teeth and
claws as a form of communication with other bears, a behavior
common to many species of bears.
black bear at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Photo: Traylor, Waverley, USFWS
|Black bear weight tends to vary according to
age, sex, health, and season. Seasonal variation in weight is
in autumn, their pre-den weight tends to be 30% higher than
in spring, when black bears emerge from their dens.
Black bears on the East Coast tend to be heavier on average
than those on the West Coast. Adult males typically weigh between
55250 kg , while females weigh 33% less at 40170
kg. Adults have a typical size range of 120200 cm in length,
and 70105 cm in shoulder height. The tail is 8 18
Although they are the smallest species in North America, large
males exceed the size of other bear species except the
and Polar Bears. The biggest wild
American black bear ever recorded was a male from New Brunswick,
shot in November 1972, that weighed 409 kg after it had been
dressed, meaning it weighed an estimated 500 kg in life, and
measured 2.4 m long.
bear in the Canadian Rockies
|American black bears tend to be territorial and
non-gregarious in nature. They mark their territories by rubbing
their bodies against
trees and clawing at the bark. Black bears are excellent and
strong swimmers, doing so for pleasure and to feed. Black bears
regularly to feed, escape enemies or to hibernate. Their arboreal
abilities tend to decline with age. Adult black bears are mostly
nocturnal, but juveniles are often active in daytime.
Historically, black bears occupied the majority of North America's
forested regions. Today, they are primarily limited to sparsely
settled, forested areas. They currently inhabit much of their
original Canadian range, though they do not occur in the southern
farmlands of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The total
Canadian black bear population is between 396,000 and 476,000
based on surveys taken in the mid 1990s in seven Canadian provinces.
All provinces indicated stable populations of black bears
over the last decade.
black bear female suckling, evades coyotes which pose
a threat to cubs
Natural History Unit
The current range of black bears in the United States is constant
throughout most of the northeast (down to Virginia and West
Virginia), the northern midwest, the Rocky mountain region,
the west coast and Alaska. However it becomes increasingly
fragmented or absent in other regions. The overall population
of black bears in the United States has been estimated to range
between 339,000 and 465,000, though this excludes populations
from Alaska, Idaho, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming,
whose population sizes are unknown.
Rockies, Alberta, home of the Black Bear.
Courtesy of wallpaperstock
Bear, Ursus arctos
about the Brown Bear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_black_bear
Ursus arctos , standing in river at the Kodiak National Wildlife
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve
|The brown bear, Ursus arctos is a large bear
distributed across much of northern Eurasia and North America.
It can weigh from 300 to 780 kilograms and its largest subspecies,
the Kodiak Bear, rivals the polar bear as the largest member
of the bear
familyand as the largest land-based predator.
There are several recognized subspecies within the brown bear
species. In North America, two types are generally recognized,
the coastal brown bear and the inland grizzly, and the two types
could broadly define all brown bear subspecies. Grizzlies weigh
as little as 160 kg in Yukon, while a brown bear, living on
a steady, nutritious diet of spawning salmon, from coastal Alaska
and Russia can weigh 682 kg. The exact number of overall brown
subspecies remains in debate.
grizzly bear cubs, Ursus arctos, playing in the water on their
|The brown bear's range has shrunk, and it has
faced local extinctions, with a total population of approximately
Its principal range countries are Russia, the United States
(mostly in Alaska), Canada, the Carpathian region (especially
but also Ukraine, Slovakia, and so on), the Balkans, Sweden
and Finland, where it is the national animal.
The brown bear is the most widely distributed of all bears.
Brown bears have very large and curved claws, those present
on the forelimbs being longer than those on the hind limbs.
They may reach 5 to 6 centimetres and sometimes 7 to 10 centimetres
along the curve. They are generally dark with a light tip,
with some forms having completely light claws. Brown bear claws
are longer and straighter than those of American black
bears The claws are blunt, while those of a black bear are sharp.
bear feeding on salmon
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve
|There are about 200,000 brown bears in the world. The largest
populations are in Russia with 120,000, the United States with
32,500, and Canada with 21,750. About 95% of the brown bear
population in the United States is in Alaska, though in the
lower 48 states, they are repopulating slowly but steadily along
the Rockies and the western Great Plains.
The last Mexican brown bear was shot in 1960. In Europe, there
are 14,000 brown bears in ten fragmented populations,
from Spain (estimated at only 20-25 animals in the Pyrenees
in 2010, in a range shared between France, Spain and Andorra,
and some 85-90 animals in Asturias, Cantabria, Galicia and León,
in the Picos de Europa and adjacent areas in 2003.
and some 100 animals in 2005 in the west, to Russia in the east,
and from Sweden and Finland in the north to Romania (40005000).
Bear, Ursus arctos, on banks of Dog Salmon Creek
|The brown bear is primarily nocturnal. In the
summer, it gains up to 180 kilograms of fat, on which it relies
to make it through
winter, when it becomes very lethargic. Although they are not
full hibernators, and can be woken easily; both sexes like to
in a protected spot, such as a cave, crevice, or hollow log,
during the winter months. Brown bears are mostly solitary,
although they may gather in large numbers at major food sources
and form social hierarchies based on age and size.
Adult male bears are particularly aggressive and are avoided
by adolescent and subadult males. Female bears with cubs rival
adult males in aggression, and are more intolerant of other
bears than single females. Young adolescent males tend to be
aggressive, and have been observed in nonagonistic interactions
with each other. Dominance between bears is asserted by
making a frontal orientation, showing off canines, muzzle twisting
and neck stretching to which a subordinate will respond with
a lateral orientation, by turning away and dropping the head
and by sitting or lying down.
brown bear sow searches for food with her two yearlings.
|As a rule, brown bears seldom attack humans on sight, and
usually avoid people. They are, however, unpredictable in
temperament, and will attack if they are surprised or feel threatened.
Sows with cubs account for the majority of injuries
and fatalities in North America. Habituated or food-conditioned
bears can also be dangerous, as their long-term exposure
to humans causes them to lose their natural shyness, and, in
some cases, to associate humans with food.
Small parties of one or two people are more often attacked than
large groups, with only one known case of an attack on
a group of six or more. In that instance, it is thought that
due to surprise the bear may not have recognized the size of
group.In contrast to injuries caused by American black bears,
which are usually minor, brown bear attacks tend to result
in serious injury and, in some cases, death. Our best advise:
Keep to our pages, don't try to look them up by yourself.
bison, Bison bison
about the Brown Bear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_bear
bison resting among wildflowers in Fort Niobrara National
Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska
John & Karen, USFWS
|The American bison, Bison bison, also
commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American
species of bison that
once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds.
Their range once roughly comprised a triangle between the
Great Bear Lake in Canada's far northwest, south to the Mexican
states of Durango and Nuevo León, and east along the
boundary of the Appalachian Mountains. Because of commercial
hunting and slaughter in the 19th century, the bison nearly
extinct and is today restricted to a few national parks and
Two subspecies or ecotypes have been described: the plains bison,
Bison bison bison, smaller in size and with a more rounded
hump, and the wood bison, Bison bison athabascae
the larger of the two and having a taller, square hump.
Furthermore, it has been suggested that the plains bison consists
of a northern, Bison bison montanae, and a southern subspecies,
bringing the total to three. The wood bison is one of the largest
species of bovid in the world, surpassed by only the Italian
Chianina, the Asian
gaur and wild Asian
water buffalo. It is the largest extant land animal
in North America.
view of buffalo, bull and cow standing side-by-side in tall
grass and wildflowers.
Photo: Hagerty, Ryan;, USFWS
|A bison has a shaggy, long, dark brown winter coat, and a lighter
weight, lighter brown summer coat. As is typical in ungulates,
the male bison are slightly larger than the female. Plains bison
are often in the smaller range of sizes, and Wood bison in the
range. Head-and-body length ranges from 2 to 3.5 m long, the tail
adding 30 to 90 cm. Shoulder height in the species can range
from 152 to 186 cm. Typical weigh can range from 320 to 1,000
kg . The heaviest wild bull ever recorded weighed 1,270 kg
When raised in captivity and farmed for meat, the bison can grow
unnaturally heavy and the largest semi-domestic bison weighed
1,724 kg. The heads and forequarters are massive, and both sexes
have short, curved horns that can grow up to 60 cm long,
which they use in fighting for status within the herd and for
adult bison walking in field in Montana
Photo: Hollingsworth, John and Karen, USFWS
|Bison are herbivores, grazing on the grasses and sedges of
the North American prairies. Their daily schedule involves two-hour
periods of grazing, resting and cud chewing, then moving to
a new location to graze again.
Bison mate in August and September; gestation is 285 days. A
single reddish-brown calf nurses until the next calf is born.
If the cow is not pregnant, a calf will nurse for 18 months.
Bison cows are mature enough to produce a calf at 3 years of
Bison bulls may try to mate with cows at 3 years of age, but
if more mature bulls are present, they may not be able to compete
until they reach 5 years of age. Bison have a life expectancy
of approximately 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in
For the first two months of life, calves are lighter in color
than mature bison. (See picture below) One very rare
condition is the
white buffalo, in which the calf turns entirely white. White
bison are considered sacred by many Native Americans.
cow and calf
|Despite being the closest relatives of domestic
cattle native to North America, bison were never domesticated
Americans. Later attempts of domestication by Europeans prior
to the 20th century met with limited success. Bison were
described as having "wild and ungovernable temper";
they can jump 6 feet vertically, and run 5565 kph when
In combination with their weight, that makes bison herds difficult
to confine, because they can jump over or crash through
almost any fence.
There are approximately 500,000 bison in captive commercial
populations (mostly plains bison) on about 4,000 privately owned
ranches.The total population of bison in wild is approximately
30,000 individuals and the mature population consists of approximately
20,000 individuals. Of the total number presented, only 15,000
total individuals are considered wild bison in the natural range
within North America (free-ranging, not confined primarily by
Bison Calf, Bison bison athabascae
|During the early 1800s, wood bison numbers were estimated
at 168, 000, but by the late 1800s, the subspecies was nearly
eliminated. Excessive hunting was the primary factor leading
to population decline. Another factor that is thought to have
a role in the decline in wood bison in Canada is a gradual loss
of meadow habitat through forest encroachment. Although not
quantified, it is likely that because of fire suppression, and
subsequent forest encroachment on meadows, there was a loss
suitable open meadow habitat for wood bison throughout their
range through about 1990.
about the Bison: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison
Alopex lagopus / Vulpes lagopus
Arctic fox, Alopex lagopus,
curled up in snow in Alaska in winter.
|The arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus, formerly known as Alopex
lagopus, also known as the white fox, polar fox or snow
is a small fox native to Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere
and is common throughout the Arctic tundra biome.
The Greek word alopex, means a fox and Vulpes is the Latin version.
Lagopus is derived from Ancient Greek lago , meaning "hare",
+ pous , "foot" and refers to the hair on its feet.
Although it has previously been assigned to its own genus Alopex,
genetic evidence places it in Vulpes (Mammal Species of the
World) with the majority of the other foxes.
view of Arctic fox on Nizke Island. Fox is in defensive position
Photo: Sarvis, John, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife
|The arctic fox lives in some of the most frigid extremes on
the planet. Among its adaptations for cold survival are its
thick fur, a system of countercurrent heat exchange in the circulation
of paws to retain core temperature, and a good supply
of body fat.
The fox has a low surface area to volume ratio, as evidenced
by its generally rounded body shape, short muzzle and legs,
and short, thick ears. Since less of its surface area is exposed
to the arctic cold, less heat escapes the body. Its furry paws
allow it to walk on ice in search of food. The arctic fox has
such keen hearing that it can precisely locate the position
under the snow. When it finds prey, it pounces and punches through
the snow to catch its victim. Its fur changes colour
with the seasons: in the winter it is white to blend in with
snow, while in the summer it is brown.
more about the Russian Arctic Fox here.
fox, Alopex lagopus, hunting lemmings
BBC Natural History Unit
Fox scavenges for carcasses
Creator Sowls, Art/ Flint Paul
|When oiled birds and marine mammals become oiled,
their feathers and fur lose the ability to keep dry. As water
soaks the animal, cold sets in and they will often go ashore
tto attempt to get dry and warm. Predators such as these foxes
will scavenge the oiled
animals, but with what result for themselves?
|The arctic fox will generally eat any small animal it can
eggs, and carrion, etc. Lemmings are
the most common prey. A family of foxes can eat dozens of lemmings
each day. During April and May the arctic fox also preys
on ringed seal pups when the young animals are confined to a
snow den and are relatively helpless. Fish beneath the ice are
part of its diet. They also consume berries and seaweed and
may thus be considered omnivores.
It is a significant bird egg predator, excepting those of the
largest tundra bird species. If there is an overabundance of
the arctic fox will bury what the family cannot eat. When its
normal prey is scarce, the arctic fox scavenges the leftovers
and even feces of larger predators, such as the polar bear,
even though the bear's prey includes the arctic fox itself.
Fox, Vulpes vulpes
about the Arctic Fox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_fox
|The red fox, Vulpes vulpes, is the largest of the true foxes,
as well as being the most geographically spread member of the
Carnivora, being distributed across the entire northern
hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America
the steppes of Asia. Its range has increased alongside human
expansion, having been introduced to Australia, where it is
considered harmful to native mammal and bird populations. It
is listed among the "world's 100 worst invasive species.
Apart from its large size, the red fox is distinguished from
other fox species by its ability to adapt quickly to new environments
and, unlike most of its cousins, is not listed as Endangered
anywhere. Despite its name, the species often produces individuals
with abnormal colourings, including albinos and melanists, Forty-five
subspecies are currently recognised, which are divided into
two categories: the large northern foxes, and the small, primitive
southern foxes of Asia and the Middle East.
Fox, Vulpes vulpes, at Cape Newenham
|Red foxes are social animals, whose groups are led by a mated
pair which monopolises breeding. Subordinates within a group
are typically the young of the mated pair, who remain with their
parents to assist in caring for new kits. The species primarily
on small rodents, though it may also target leporids, game birds,
reptiles, invertebrates and young ungulates. Fruit and vegetable
matter is also eaten on occasion. Although the red fox tends
to displace or even kill its smaller cousins, it is nonetheless
to attack from larger predators such as wolves, coyotes, golden
jackals and medium and large felines.
The species has a long history of association with humans, having
been extensively hunted as a pest and furbearer for centuries,
as well as being prominently represented in human folklore and
mythology. Because of its widespread distribution and large
population, the red fox is one of the most important furbearing
animals harvested for the fur trade.
|Red foxes have elongated bodies and relatively short limbs.
The tail, which is longer than half the body length (70% of
head and body length), is long, fluffy and reaches the ground
when in a standing position. Their pupils are oval and vertically
oriented. Nictitating membranes are present, but move only when
the eyes are closed. The forepaws have five digits, while the
have only four and lack dewclaws. They are very agile, being
capable of jumping over 2 metre high fences and swim well.
Vixens have three pairs of teats, though vixens with 7, 9 or
10 pairs are not uncommon. The testes of males are smaller than
those of Arctic foxes.
baby Red Foxes, Vulpes vulpes , Buzzards Bay, MA.
Photo: Gore, Lamar
|Red foxes are the largest species of the
genus Vulpes. However, relative to dimensions, red foxes are
much lighter than similarly
sized dogs of the Canis genus. Their limb bones, for
example, weigh 30% less per unit area of bone than expected
sized dogs. They display significant individual, sexual, age
and geographical variation in size. On average, adults measure
3550 cm high at the shoulder and 45 to 90 cm in body length
with tails measuring 76 to 160 cm. The ears measure 7.712.5
and the hind feet 1218.5 cm. They weigh 2.2 to 14 kg ,
with vixens typically weighing 1520% less than males.
They trot at a speed of 613 km/h, and have a maximum running
speed of 50 km/h. They have a stride of 2535 cm when
walking at a normal pace. North American red foxes are generally
lightly built, with comparatively long bodies for their mass
have a high degree of sexual dimorphism. British red foxes are
heavily built, but short, while continental European red foxes
closer to the general average among red fox populations. The
largest red fox on record in Great Britain was a 12 kg, four
long male, killed in Maidstone, Kent in early 2011.
hare, Lepus othus
about the Red Fox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_fox
hare, Lepus othus, in snow and bushes
|The Alaskan Hare, Lepus othus, also called
the tundra hare, is a species of mammal in the Leporidae family.
It is found in the open tundra of western Alaska and the Aleutian
Islands in the United States.
The Alaskan hare is larger than the Snowshow Hare 50
to 70 cm. in length and 2.7 to 5.4 kg in weight.
The winter coat of this large hare is long and the fur is white
to the base. Edges of the ears are blackish. In summer the coat
is grayish brown above and white below, with a whitish base
to the hairs. The tail is entirely white.
The Alaskan hare is generally found on windswept, rocky slopes
and upland tundra, often in groups. It usually avoid lowlands
and wooded areas. It feed on willow shoots and various dwarf
Hare, Lepus arcticus
about the Alaska Hare: from various sources
|The arctic hare, Lepus arcticus, or polar rabbit is a species
of hare which is adapted largely to polar and mountainous habitats.
The arctic hare survives with a thick coat of fur and usually
digs holes under the ground or snow to keep warm and sleep.
Arctic hares look like rabbits but have longer ears and can
stand up taller, and can live/maintain themselves in cold places
rabbits. They can travel together with many other hares, sometimes
huddling with dozens or more, but are usually found alone,
taking in some cases more than one partner. The arctic hare
can run up to 64 km per hour.Its predators include Arctic wolf,
Arctic fox, and Ermine.
hare - overview
© BBC Natural History Unit
Audio credits © Master Tracks
hare chased by wolf across tundra and caught
credits © BBC Natural History Unit
Audio credits © Master Tracks
|The arctic hare is distributed over the tundra
regions of Greenland and the northernmost parts of Canada. Towards
of its range, the arctic hare changes its coat colour, moulting
and growing new fur, from brown or grey in the summer to white
in the winter, like some other arctic animals including ermine
enabling it to remain camouflaged as the
background changes. However, the arctic hares in the far north
of Canada, where summer is very short, remain white all year
round. On average arctic hares measure 5570 cm long, and
weigh about 45.5 kg.
Arctic hares eat mainly woody plants but also dine on buds,
berries, leaves and grasses. In the early summer they eat purple
saxifrage. It has a keen sense of smell and may dig for willow
twigs under the snow. When eating plants, arctic hares like
standing where there is less snow to easily locate twigs or
plants that fall off or lie on the ground for them to chew on/feed
Although hares are known for eating plants, they can eat meat.
Hare - Varying Hare, Lepus americanus
about the Arctic Hare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Hare
hare at Kennebago Lake, Maine.
|The snowshoe hare, Lepus americanus, also
called the varying hare, or snowshoe rabbit, is a species of
hare found in North
America. It has the name "snowshoe" because of the
large size of its hind feet and the marks its tail leaves. The
prevent it from sinking into the snow when it hops and walks.
Its feet also have fur on the soles to protect it from freezing
For camouflage, its fur turns white during the winter and rusty
brown during the summer. Its flanks are white year-round.
The snowshoe hare is also distinguishable by the black tufts
of fur on the edge of its ears. Its ears are shorter than those
most other hares.
hare - overview
BBC Natural History Unit Audio Natural FX
|In summer, it feeds on plants such as, grass, ferns and leaves;
in winter, it eats twigs, the bark from trees, and buds from
flowers and plants and, along with the Arctic hare, has been
known to steal meat from baited traps. Hares are cannibalistic
under availability of dead conspecifics, and have been known
to eat dead rodents such as mice due to low availability of
protein in an herbivorous diet. It is sometimes seen feeding
in small groups. This animal is mainly active at night and does
The snowshoe hare may have up to four litters in a year which
average three to eight young. Males compete for females,
and females may breed with several males.
More about hares and
rabbits - click here.
about the Snowshoe Hare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowshoe_hare
jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
black-tail Rabbit, Lepus californicus, has distinctive long
ears, and the long,
powerful rear legs characteristic of hares
Photo: Harrison, George
|The black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus,
also known as the American desert hare, is a common hare of
United States and Mexico, where it is found at elevations from
sea level to up to 3,000 m. Reaching a length of about 60 cm,
and a weight from1.4 to 2.7 kg), the black-tailed jackrabbit
is the third largest North American hare, after the antelope
jackrabbit and the white-tailed jackrabbit. The black-tailed
jackrabbits occupy mixed shrub-grassland terrains.
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve
|Their breeding depends on the location; it typically peaks
in spring, but may continue all year round in warm climates.
Young are borne fully furred with eyes open; they are well camouflaged
and are mobile within minutes of birth, thus females
do not protect or even stay with the young except during nursing.
The average litter size is around four, but may be as low
as two and as high as seven in warm regions.
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve
|The black-tailed jackrabbit does not migrate or hibernate
during winter and uses the same habitat of 13 km2 year-round.
Its diet is composed of various shrubs, small trees, grasses
and forbs. Shrubs generally comprise the bulk of fall and winter
diets, while grasses and forbs are used in spring and early
summer, but the pattern and plant species vary with climate.
Black-tailed jackrabbit is an important prey species for raptors
and carnivorous mammals, such as eagles, hawks, owls,
coyotes, foxes, and wild cats. The rabbits host many ectoparasites
including fleas, ticks, lice, and mites; for this reason,
hunters often avoid collecting them.
Jackrabbit, Lepus townsendii
about the Black-tailed Jackrabbit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-tailed_jackrabbit
|The White-tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus townsendii, also
known as the Prairie Hare and the White Jack, is a hare found
North America. Briefly reputed to have been extirpated , it
is now clear from observations, roadkilled specimens and historical
records that white-tailed jackrabbits are still extant in Yellowstone
National Park . This animal, like all hares and rabbits, is
member of family Leporidae
of order Lagomorpha.
This jackrabbit has two described subspecies: Lepus townsendii
townsendii and Lepus townsendii campanius.
Jackrabbit, picture taken in Edmonton, Alberta
|Sightings of Lepus townsendii have declined
in Grand Teton National Park since 1970, from sightings characterized
"numerous" and "common" to only three individuals
since 1978. This may represent a satellite population, resulting
continuous distribution within the Gros Ventre River corridor
that leads to the Upper Green River Basin . In Yellowstone
National Park, where the species was once considered abundant,
no sightings have been confirmed since the 1990's for extirpation
from both parks is currently unknown
The primary habitat of Lepus townsendii is open prairie
and plains, but will vary with locality. They are also found
pastures among scattered evergreens to 3,100 m altitude in Colorado.
Diet of this species is predominantly grasses and forbs,
with shrubs during the winter.
The total length of Lepus townsendii is 56.5 - 65.5 cm . The
breeding season was recorded to extend from late February
through mid-July in North Dakota . A similar breeding season
was recorded in Wyoming. The season is shortened in the
northern extent of its range to May through early July. Breeding
conditions and environmental factors influence the total
number of litters produced each year. Common litter size is
recorded as four to five young, with total litters per year
from one to 11. Longevity is unknown but speculated to be up
to five years.
Rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis
Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. 2008. Lepus townsendii. In:
IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20
Rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis
|The Pygmy Rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis,
is a North American rabbit, and is one of only two rabbit species
in America to
dig its own burrow. The Pygmy Rabbit differs significantly from
species within either the Lepus (hare) or Sylvilagus
(cottontail) genera and is generally considered to be within
the monotypic genus Brachylagus. One isolated population,
the Columbia Basin
Pygmy Rabbit, is listed as an endangered species by the U.S.
Federal goverment, though the International Union for
Conservation of Nature lists the species as lower risk.
The Pygmy Rabbit is the world's smallest leporid, with
mean adult weights from 375 to about 500 grams, and a body length
from 23.5 to 29.5 centimeters ; females are slightly larger
than males. The pygmy rabbit is distinguishable from other leporids
by its small size, short ears, gray color, small hind legs,
and lack of white fur on the tail
brush rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani riparius
about the Pygmy Rabbit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmy_Rabbit
brush rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani riparius
|The riparian brush rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani
riparius is listed as endangered and is a small cottontail,
one of eight subspecies
of brush rabbits native to California. This one is at the San
Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge in California's Central
There are 13 recognized subspecies: Sylvilagus bachmani bachmani,
S. b. cinerascens, S. b. peninsularis, S. b. cerrosensis,
S. b. ubericolor, S. b. exiguus, S. b. mariposae, S. b. virgulti,
S. b. howelli, S. b. macrorhinus, S. b. riparius, S.
and S. b. rosaphagus.
strip, Putnam County, Ohio, Lake Erie tributary
United States Department of Agriculture
The subspecies Sylvilagus bachmani
riparius occurs only in Caswell Memorial State
Park (MSP) on the Stanislaus River,
and the South Delta area of the San Joaquin River, including
Paradise Cut and Tom Paine Slough. The park size is 253 acres,
and population on the South Delta occurs on privately owned
land. Even though there is other ideal habitat for
Sylvilagus bachmani riparius in MSP they are unable to
reach it because there is no connecting habitat above flood
in MSP. It occupies an elevational range of 0-2,070 m.
In Caswell Memorial State Park, Stanislaus River, San Joaquin
County, California, USA, Sylvilagus
occurs in about 90% of the park's 102 ha when populations
are high, but about 20-40% of the Park at other times.
Brush Rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani riparius, California
|The South Delta population of Sylvilagus
bachmani riparius, in the vicinity of Mossdale and
Lathrop, San Joaquin County,
CA, USA, exists on about 122 ha of private land within an area
of about 2,927 ha. Populations are found along Paradise Cut,
Tom Paine Slough, Grantline Canal, and the San Joaquin River.
Rabbits also are found along the narrow right-of-ways of two
railroads running through the area. Habitat for Sylvilagus
bachmani riparius is distributed in discontinuous,
of riparian vegetation along streams, sloughs, and railroad
beds adjacent to intensely cultivated fields. Most land in this
is planned for urban and industrial development within the next
1-10 years. Existing habitat is periodically cut or burned for
weed and flood control.
Association for Conservation and Study of Lagomorphs (AMCELA),
Romero Malpica, F.J., Rangel Cordero, H. & Williams,
D.F. 2008. Sylvilagus bachmani. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>.
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