Belyak hare-the type of animal and where it lives, description of the structure and nutrition

Bellyak hare (lat. Lepus Timidus) is one of the most widely known types of hares throughout the planet especially in its north. The main and notable feature of this type of hares is its unique ability to change the color of the wool with the onset of winter. But even despite the widespread distribution, in some places these animals were almost completely exterminated, which gave reason to bring them into the Red Book of many countries.


A hare is an average animal with a long body up to about 80 cm, and weighing up to 6 kg, and females are usually much larger than males. Moreover, their size directly depends on the habitat, for example, the largest individuals are found in Siberia, and the smallest in Yakutia and in the Far East.

This animal is characterized by characteristic long ears (up to 10 cm!) and a short rounded tail reaching 6 cm. Belyaki’s eyes are so widely placed that they may have the impression that they look in different directions this has come from this and another ancient name of the representatives of this species of a scythe: such a structure of the eyes allows the animal to well navigate what is happening around and noticing the approach of danger in time.

In the winter season, Belyak, as you can understand from its name, is the owner of snow-white white fur, the exception is the ends of the ears, and in the summer its color varies from gray to reddish.

Where it lives

Belyak is unlikely to meet in the capital’s forests and park zones, he loves forests more with a rather thick undergrowth. However, at night it may well be in search of food near highrise buildings, but only Thaim, where they are located next to meadows, gardens or wastelands.

The territory of the spread of Belyak is the tundra, forest and some parts of the foreststeppe zone of Eurasia of its northern part (Scandinavia, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China), and it also acclimatized in South America and even in some Arctic territories.

Within the boundaries of its almost limitless hare area, you can find unevenly, still the animal prefers those territories where you can find food and decent protection. More or less evenly, the white man is settled only in the summer, when it is not difficult to move, and the food is simple, and in autumn-winter time it is able to make only seasonal nomads.

Almost everywhere, this type of hare is common for the regions of the valleys of rivers, t.e. where he is satisfied with the feed conditions, and there is an opportunity to escape from parasites. If we talk about the tundra, then here he gravitates to the shrubs and quite worthy settled near the sea coast.

In the forests, he can hardly be found in solid massifs, t.e. where there is a high tree; The hare prefers forests interspersed with meadows and river valleys, and having significant sections of the cut.

In this regard, the central territories of our country are very favorable for this type, where coniferous vegetation is adjacent to deciduous forests and agricultural lands.

In mountainous areas it can be found from foothills to tundra, and is everywhere found near the settlements.

What eats

A beel-hare is a herbivorous animal, which is distinguished by a clear seasonality of the diet. So, in the spring and summer, the animal loves to eat the green parts of plants, giving preference to oats or clover, which are found in the fields. Dandelion, yarrow and other herbs. In the northern territories, berries can eat (mainly ink both shoots and fruits), as well as mushrooms (including truffle digging from the soil) and horded).

In the autumn, when the grass dries, hares pass to shrubs and other rough food branches, which becomes relevant with the deterioration of weather conditions, shoots and bark of various plants are used; It is clear that at this time he causes significant harm to industrial planting: gardens, forest plantations.

Almost everywhere, the hare can find his favorite food: willow and aspen, but other trees the same birch, for example, he eats so willingly, but does not neglect this important source of food. In winter, he can dig and consume herbaceous plants, berries, hay and even cones.

Like any herbivorous one, the hare often encounters a deficit of minerals, and therefore, even soil and small pebbles can be in its diet, not to mention the visit of the salt shakers.

Typically, the hare is a night animal, the diet begins with sunset and lasts until dawn, but the hare sometimes lingers into the summer short nights until the morning, and can pass several kilometers in search of food during the night.


Legends and Belyak are no exception about the fertility of hares. In a larger habitat, these animals have the opportunity to bring offspring up to three times throughout the year. Of course, the northern regions (Chukotka, Yakutia, for example) limit the reproduction of the hare up to one brood per year.

The first rut of Belyaks begins in early spring (for the northern regions this time is pushed by the beginning of May) and is often characterized by fights between males. Typically, up to 90% of females take part in Gona, which begin to bring offspring about two months later, t.e. closer to midspring, and soon they are ready to remate. The hare of the first litter received the name of the broth, because they appear when there is still snow cover in the forests.

The second race starts in early summer and almost all females take an active part in it. Kids appear in the middle of summer and get the name spikes, since it is at this time that ears of rye and wheat are formed. And in early August, in the southern habitats of Belyak, one can observe the Third Round, in which less than half of the females take part. The rabbits of this litter appear in September, and sometimes later, so they are called leaflets.

B Zilo are usually in the litter up to seven hare, which weigh a maximum of 130 grams. Cubs appear, covered with warm fur and already seeing, able to move on their own on the first day. Hares of hares are very nutritious up to almost 15% fat and protein, and this is the reason that females feed babies once a day. On about 10 days of life, Zaychat already eat grass, and they become completely independent somewhere on the 14th day.

Belya hares are not long-livers. Usually in nature they do not live up to five years, although there is information about 17-year-old hares.

Typically, a Belyak hare is distinguished by fear of predators, but during the rutal period it becomes just crazy. Able to fight, jump and rush for the sake of their bride. The British even have a kind of description for folly the behavior of the March hare.

Features of character

Bunny-fuition is a beloved hero of folk tales, which is not surprising hares very sharp and somewhere even cowardly animals. It is noteworthy that the driven hare usually dies not from the wounds received, but banal from the gap of the heart caused by a feeling of fear.

But this is not surprisingly hares have many reasons for such a reaction: they have a huge number of enemies who hunt them, from fox to eagle and ermine.

The hare has a much more developed hearing than vision and smell and is able to get quite close to a person who is still motionless. His only successful protective equipment is the opportunity to move very quickly and run.

Hares Belyaki are excellent masking masters. Their fur coat in the summer perfectly hides them against the background of the landscape, and in winter warm and fluffy white fur perfectly masks the beast in the snow.

Another saving ability of Belyak is the ability to quietly hide somewhere (grass, ravine, foliage) and lie for a long time without movement. While in the shelter, the hare catches the surrounding sounds with ears-gapers, and with danger jumps, jumps and simply runs away.

It is noteworthy that Belyak is most active in the borrower and closer to dawn. In the daytime, he prefers to relax somewhere in a secluded place. In severe frosts, the animal is able to dig a hole in the snow (up to 150 cm long), trampling the snow and spend the whole day in it, leaving only in case of danger.

In winter, the whites pave one route to the feeding point of feeding, trampling the paths for several animals and even a person can calmly move along such paths. With a route for lying (resting place), the hare usually uses the tactics of long jumps and confusion of traces: the hunters are well aware of deuces, t.e. Returning in your own trail, and notes huge jumps in the strip.

Natural enemies

During the periods when the number of beekeeper hares increases, there is usually an increase in the number of predatory animals for which this animal is a link in a food chain (golden eagle, owls, lynx).

Golden Eagle-Enemy of a Belyak Hare

The danger to the hare is also pose stray and feral animals, but, first of all, the main danger to these animals (as well as for many others) is, of course, a person.

The hare has long and is right about the most famous hunting-chromium trophies (and the fault of this is delicious meat and valuable skins), and in the seasons established by law, almost all habitats of this animal have an active sports hunt.

Interesting Facts

Usually whites are distinguished by single territorial habitation, living in individual areas up to 30 hectares. As a rule, these are the animals sedentary, and all their movements are localized by seasonal changes in the feed areas.

In the fall and in winter, these animals usually move to forest edges, and in the spring return to open places where you can meet young grass.

Some researchers are inclined to believe that the cause of this behavior may be a climate in a rainy period of hares are simply forced to leave the lowlands and live up the hills. If we talk about mountainous areas, then there is a vertical movement, passing up to 10 km per day. Migration in floodplains may take place with a reservoir or in open places, if necessary, escape from the vile, or simply swinging from the northern territories under adverse weather conditions.

A phenomenon such as mass migration of hares is characteristic only for the tundra area, especially with a high population level due to high snow, which makes it possible to get access to low tundra vegetation. So, on the same famous Taimyr, the migration of hares reaches mass volume, they can move south to 80 individuals at distances exceeding hundreds of kilometers.

Population for today

The population of hares today is characterized by significant changeability. This indicator can reach several hundred times. And the main reason for reducing the level of the population, first of all, are massive diseases, epizootes, which usually follow years of increasing the population. Researchers do not always have the opportunity to establish the nature of such diseases: sometimes this happened due to parasitic worms (nematodes in the lungs), sometimes intestinal-muddy diseases, or the problem of bacterial nature, the same pseudotuberculosis. And if we talk about epizootics, they covered up to almost one hundred percent of the entire local population of Belyak.

And during the years of a high population, the level of predators influencing it usually increases significantly and they accelerate the extinction of the species, then significantly delaying the process of its restoration.

The periods of high and minimum whitening are usually alternated, while this process is cyclical, usually every ten years. But the peak indicators never cover the entire habitat at the same time.

The Belyak hare is well able to adapt to the presence of a person in the space surrounding him, but the anthropological activity of a person also contributed to the number of populations, means hunting and fur fishing.

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