Our Beautiful World

North American Animals, Page 1 of 6

Pine Marten, North American Animal

On this page:
Reindeer or Caribou, Rangifer tarandus
American black bear, Ursus americanus
Brown Bear
, Ursus arctos
American bison, Bison bison
Arctic fox, Alopex lagopus
Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes
Alaskan Hare, Lepus othus
Arctic Hare, Lepus arcticus
Snowshoe Hare, Lepus americanus

Black-tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
White-tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus townsendii

Pygmy Rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis
Riparian Brush Rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani riparius

Northern fur seal,
Callorhinus ursinus
Mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus California sea lion,
Zalophus californianus
Coypu, Nutria, Mycastor coypus
Gray Seal, Halichoerus grypus Sitka Black-tailed Deer,
Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis
Steller's Sea Lion, Eumetopias jubatus
Black-footed Ferret, Mustela nigripes
Bearded seal, Erignathus barbatus Musk Ox , Ovibos moschatus Sea Otter, Enhydra lutris
Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Cynomys ludovicianus
Ribbon Seal, Phoca fasciata Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana Virginia Big-Eared Bats,
Corynorhinus townsendii
San Joaquin Kit Fox
Vulpes macrotis mutica
Harbor seal, Phoca vitulina Elk, Cervus canadensis Singing Vole, Microtus miurus
Bighorn Sheep, Ovis canadensis
Hawaiian monk seal,
Monachus schauinslandi
Moose, Alces alces Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel,
Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus
Bobcat, Lynx rufus
Polar Bear, Ursus maritimus White-tailed deer,
Odocoileus virginianus
Washington ground squirrel,
Urocitellus washingtoni
Manatee, Trichechus manatus Mexican Ground Squirrel, Spermophilus mexicanus California ground squirrel,
Spermophilus beecheyi
Raccoon, Procyon lotor . Short-tailed Weasel, Mustela ermina
Yellow-bellied marmot,
Marmota flaviventris
. Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus

We have made pages with wildlife in Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin-America and several single countries as Kazakhstan,
Kamchatka in Russia, Scotia Sea in Antactic and several others. All the time we have hoped to be able to come up
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.

Reindeer, Rangifer tarandus

Caribou aggregation , Rangifer tarandus. On the Arctic Refuge coastal plain.
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 and Subarctic,
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.

Two reindeer on Atka Island which is part of the Aleutian Islands
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve, Courtesy: USFWS

Tundra reindeer
Peary caribou, Rangifer tarandus pearyi, found in the northern islands of the Nunavut and the NW Territories of Canada.
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 peninsula.
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.

Woodland reindeer
Still a lot of discussion between scientists about what is what, so will put that aside until further.

Caribou and Sea Ice
Contributors Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to USFWS

The females usually measure 162–205 cm in length and weigh 80–120 kg. The males (or "bulls") are typically larger
(although the extent to which varies in the different subspecies), measuring 180–214 cm in length and usually weighing 160–182 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 compared
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.

Photo: Nickles, Jon

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, are darker.
This can be seen well in North America, where the northernmost subspecies, the
Peary caribou, is the whitest and smallest subspecies of the continent, while the
southernmost subspecies, the Woodland Caribou, is the darkest and largest.
The coat has two layers of fur: a dense woolly undercoat and longer-haired
overcoat consisting of hollow, air-filled hairs.

Photo: Kaufman, Steve

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 summer.

American black bear, Ursus americanus

A 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.

Lake Drummond, a 13 km² natural lake, is located in the heart of Great Dismal Swamp
Credit: USFWS

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.

American 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 very pronounced:
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
55–250 kg , while females weigh 33% less at 40–170 kg. Adults have a typical size range of 120–200 cm in length,
and 70–105 cm in shoulder height. The tail is 8 –18 cm long.

Although they are the smallest species in North America, large males exceed the size of other bear species except the Brown
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.

Black bear in the Canadian Rockies
Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Canadian_Rockies_-_the_bear_at_Lake_Louise.jpg

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 climb
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.

ARKive video - American black bear female suckling, evades coyotes which pose a threat to cubs
American black bear female suckling, evades coyotes which pose a threat to cubs
BBC 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.

Canadian Rockies, Alberta, home of the Black Bear.
Courtesy of wallpaperstock

Text about the Brown Bear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_black_bear

Brown Bear, Ursus arctos

Bears, Ursus arctos , standing in river at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge
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.

Two grizzly bear cubs, Ursus arctos, playing in the water on their hind legs
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve

The brown bear's range has shrunk, and it has faced local extinctions, with a total population of approximately 200,000.
Its principal range countries are Russia, the United States (mostly in Alaska), Canada, the Carpathian region (especially Romania,
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.

Brown 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 (4000–5000).

Kodiak Bear, Ursus arctos, on banks of Dog Salmon Creek
Menke, Dave

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 den
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 least
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.

A brown bear sow searches for food with her two yearlings.
Photo: Evans, Larry

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 the
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.

Alaska Landscape

Text about the Brown Bear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_bear

American bison, Bison bison

American bison resting among wildflowers in Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska
Hollingsworth, 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 western
boundary of the Appalachian Mountains. Because of commercial hunting and slaughter in the 19th century, the bison nearly went
extinct and is today restricted to a few national parks and other reserves.

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.

Close 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 larger
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 defense.


An 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 age.
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 captivity.

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.

Bison cow and calf
Photo: Achtenberg, Jesse
Despite being the closest relatives of domestic cattle native to North America, bison were never domesticated by native
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 55–65 kph when agitated.
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 fencing).

Wood Bison Calf, Bison bison athabascae
Photo: Laura Whitehouse

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 played
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 of
suitable open meadow habitat for wood bison throughout their range through about 1990.
Source: USFWS

Bison bison athabascae
Photo: Laura Whitehouse

Text about the Bison: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison

Arctic fox, 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 fox,
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.

Close view of Arctic fox on Nizke Island. Fox is in defensive position
Photo: Sarvis, John, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge; USFWS

The arctic fox lives in some of the most frigid extremes on the planet. Among its adaptations for cold survival are its deep,
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 of prey
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.

ARKive video - Arctic fox hunting lemmings

Arctic fox, Alopex lagopus, hunting lemmings
BBC Natural History Unit

Read more about the Russian Arctic Fox here.

Arctic Fox scavenges for carcasses
Photo: 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 find: lemmings, voles, hares, owls, 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 also
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 food hunted,
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.

Text about the Arctic Fox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_fox

Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes

Red Fox
Photo: Thiele, Jim

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 and
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.

Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes, at Cape Newenham
Photo: Haggblom, Lisa

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 feeds
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 vulnerable
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 Fox Pups
Photo: Stutzman, Jim

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 hind feet
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.

Two 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 for similarly
sized dogs. They display significant individual, sexual, age and geographical variation in size. On average, adults measure
35–50 cm high at the shoulder and 45 to 90 cm in body length with tails measuring 76 to 160 cm. The ears measure 7.7–12.5 cm
and the hind feet 12–18.5 cm. They weigh 2.2 to 14 kg , with vixens typically weighing 15–20% less than males.

They trot at a speed of 6–13 km/h, and have a maximum running speed of 50 km/h. They have a stride of 25–35 cm when
walking at a normal pace. North American red foxes are generally lightly built, with comparatively long bodies for their mass and
have a high degree of sexual dimorphism. British red foxes are heavily built, but short, while continental European red foxes are
closer to the general average among red fox populations. The largest red fox on record in Great Britain was a 12 kg, four foot
long male, killed in Maidstone, Kent in early 2011.

Text about the Red Fox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_fox

Alaskan hare, Lepus othus

Alaskan 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 arctic plants.

Text about the Alaska Hare: from various sources

Arctic Hare, Lepus arcticus
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 unlike
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.[4]

ARKive video - Arctic hare - overview
Arctic hare - overview
Video credits © BBC Natural History Unit
Audio credits © Master Tracks
ARKive video - Arctic hare chased by wolf across tundra and eventually caught
Arctic hare chased by wolf across tundra and caught
Video 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 the south
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 and ptarmigan, 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 55–70 cm long, and weigh about 4–5.5 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 on.
Although hares are known for eating plants, they can eat meat.

Text about the Arctic Hare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Hare

Snowshoe Hare - Varying Hare, Lepus americanus

Snowhoe 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 animal's feet
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 of
most other hares.

ARKive video - Snowshoe hare - overview
Snowshoe hare - overview
Video: 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
not hibernate.

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.

Text about the Snowshoe Hare: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowshoe_hare

More about hares and rabbits - click here.

Black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus

The 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 the western
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.

Jack Rabbit (specimen?)
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.

Jack Rabbit (specimen?)
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve

The black-tailed jackrabbit does not migrate or hibernate during winter and uses the same habitat of 1–3 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.

Text about the Black-tailed Jackrabbit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-tailed_jackrabbit

White-tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus townsendii

White-tailed Jackrabbit
Photo: Biggins, Dean

The White-tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus townsendii, also known as the Prairie Hare and the White Jack, is a hare found in western
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 a
member of family Leporidae of order Lagomorpha.

This jackrabbit has two described subspecies: Lepus townsendii townsendii and Lepus townsendii campanius.
Source: Wikipedia

White-tailed Jackrabbit, picture taken in Edmonton, Alberta
Photo: Adam Lowe, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:White-tailed_Jackrabbit.jpg

Sightings of Lepus townsendii have declined in Grand Teton National Park since 1970, from sightings characterized as
"numerous" and "common" to only three individuals since 1978. This may represent a satellite population, resulting from the
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 on montane
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 ranging
from one to 11. Longevity is unknown but speculated to be up to five years.

Source: 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 February 2012.

Pygmy Rabbit, Brachylagus idahoensis

Pygmy 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

Text about the Pygmy Rabbit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmy_Rabbit

Riparian brush rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani riparius

Riparian brush rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani riparius
Photo: Hansen, Brian

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 Valley.

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. b. tehamae,
and S. b. rosaphagus.

Riparian strip, Putnam County, Ohio, Lake Erie tributary
Photo: 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 level
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 bachmani riparius
occurs in about 90% of the park's 102 ha when populations are high, but about 20-40% of the Park at other times.

Riparian Brush Rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani riparius, California
Photo: Lee Eastman

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, narrow strands
of riparian vegetation along streams, sloughs, and railroad beds adjacent to intensely cultivated fields. Most land in this area
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.

Mexican 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>.
Downloaded on 20 February 2012.

That brings us to the end of page 1 of this North American Wildlife tour.
As per February 20th, 2012, the rest of the pages are not yet ready,
but you go to page two right now.

All pictures, if nothing else is mentioned, are taken from U.S.Fish & Wilflife Service,
National Digital Library at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov

They are all in public domain.


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