Thai National Parks

Mammals of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Burmese hare

Binomial name: Lepus peguensis, Edward Blyth, 1855

The Burmese hare (Lepus peguensis) is a species of mammal in the family Leporidae. It is found in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Three subspecies are recognised; L. p. peguensis, L. p. siamensis and L. p. vassali.

Description

The Burmese hare is a small to moderate sized species with adults growing to a length of 35 to 50 cm and weighing between 2 and 2.5 kg. The long ears have black tips, the dorsal surface of the body is reddish-grey tinged with black, the rump is rather greyer and the underparts are white. The tail is white above and black below and the feet are white in individuals from Burma and reddish-brown or yellowish-brown in those from Thailand.

Distribution and habitat

The range of the Burmese hare extends from southern Myanmar, south of the Chindwin River, to northern parts of the Malay Peninsula, including Thailand, Cambodia, southern Laos and southern Vietnam. It is mainly a lowland species but has been recorded as high as 1300 m in the mountains of Thailand although other surveys have not found it higher than 800 m elsewhere. Its typical habitats are cropland and dry wasteland, clearings in forests and coastal sandy areas. It is common in seasonally-inundated riverside flats, and is present in rice fields cultivated in a traditional manner while avoiding heavily-irrigated, intensively-grown paddies.

Biology

The Burmese hare is nocturnal and feeds on grass, twigs and bark. Several litters of young, averaging three or four, are borne in a year after a gestation period of about thirty-seven days. The average lifespan is estimated to be six years.

Status

Threats faced by the Burmese hare include the increased cultivation of irrigated rice paddies, which results in unsuitable habitat, and being hunted for food. However the hare has a wide range and is a common animal. The population is stable, or even possibly increasing in places where logging results in favourable scrubby habitat, so the International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists its conservation status as being of "least concern".

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Lagomorpha
Family
Leporidae
Genus
Lepus
Species
Lepus peguensis

Common names

  • English:
    • Burmese hare
    • Siamese hare

Synonyms

  • Lepus siamensis, John James Lewis Bonhote (1902)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Burmese hare, Lepus peguensis in Thailand

Range map of Lepus peguensis in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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