Species Focus

Brown hare

(Lepus europaeus)

Brown Hare at Waterbeach

Brown hares are a focus species for the northern buffer habitat area at Waterbeach.

Discover: Brown hare

As suggested by their name, brown hares are golden-brown, with their larger size, long legs and long black-tipped ears setting them apart from rabbits.

  • Conservation status: Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981; Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.
  • Measurements: Length: 50-70 cm, weight: 2-5 kg.

Brown hares live in grasslands and woodland edges, especially where these habitats meet arable field and hedgerows. They graze on plants and bark and make use of shallow dips in the ground or grass for shelter instead of burrows.

Brown hare at Waterbeach

Can you spot: During the breeding season in early spring, brown hares can be seen ‘boxing’, when females are warding off unwanted male attention.

Did you know: The hare's strong legs and refined senses allow it to avoid predators in its open grassland habitat, reaching speeds of up to 45 mph.

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