Thursday, June 2, 2016

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

Black-tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
Contrary to its name, the Black-tailed Jackrabbit is not a rabbit, but a hare, a separate species, and one that can be found throughout a large portion of the western and central portions of the United States and Mexico. Unlike a true rabbit, hares are larger with longer ears, less social tendencies, are born fully developed, and as they often live on open plains, rely more on their speed. The Black-tailed Jackrabbit is no exception, able to reach 48-56 kph (30-35 mph) over zigzag course and able to spring 6 m (20 ft) at a bound.

Black-tailed Jackrabbit found in scrubland habitat.
Their agility can often be seen during breeding season as males and females will leap and chase after each other with the male hoping to catch, and therefore mate, with the female. They will have 3 or 4 litters per year with up to six young who are on their own after their mother stops nursing 3 days later. Black-tailed Jackrabbits are most likely found in desert scrubland, prairies, farmlands, and dunes, and will consume all types of plant matter, especially as the majority of their water comes from what they consume.