Other Mammals - Sounds Wild
Alaska Hare


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Alaska Hare

On a spring day in Southwest Alaska, the snow is melting fast on the tundra. An enormous white rabbit darts from a willow draw and bounds away. It's not a snowshoe hare, it's Alaska's other native, wild hare, the tundra hare. These giant tundra bunnies are also known as the Alaska hare, but most people simply call all hares rabbits.

Found only in Western Alaska, the Alaska hare is among the largest hares in the world. While snowshoe hares average two or three pounds, Alaska hares are six to 12 pounds, about three times as big as snowshoe hares. Alaska hares have black tipped ears, unlike the smaller snowshoe hares.

Fish and Game's statewide Small Game Program is studying Alaska hares, an important subsistence and ecological resource in Alaska. Biologists with the Program plan capture and radio collar several Alaska hares to learn more about daily movements, sources of mortality, and potentially even productivity and survival of young hares, known as leverets. They also plan to try and develop a non-invasive abundance estimation method for this largely nocturnal and species using their pellets or droppings.