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Lepus americanus Erxleben, 1777
Snowshoe Hare; Snowshoe Hare; Varying Hare
Family: Leporidae


© Claude Schweizer     (Photo ID #126115)


Distribution of Lepus americanus in British Columbia.
Source: Map courtesy of David Nagorsen


The Snowshoe Hare is a distinctive and easily recognized 'rabbit' because of its larger size, large "snowshoe' feet, long ears, and all white colouring in winter. Some low elevation populations in the Fraser River valley and the Cascades (areas with sporadic snow cover) are brown in winter (Nagorsen pers. comm. 2011). These smaller hares are currently recognized as a subspecies (L. a. washingtonii), however genetic work is needed to assess this taxonomy.

In BC, the Snowshoe hare is found throughout the province, but does not occur on the coastal islands (Nagorsen 2005).

Status Information

Scientific NameOrigin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
Lepus americanusNativeS5YellowNot Listed
Lepus americanus washingtoniiNativeS1RedNot Listed

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Species References

Nagorsen, David W. 2005. Rodents and Lagomorphs of British Columbia. Royal BC Museum Handbook. Royal BC Museum, Victoria.