Snowshoe Hare

A photograph of a stationary hare who is looking away and is in an almost seated position. Most of their coat is brown and their legs are white.
Credit: Gerry Mussnug


  • Common name: Snowshoe Hare
  • Scientific name: Lepus americanus
  • Order: Lagomorpha
  • Family: Leporidae
  • Indigenous names for this species may be available through the Yukon Native Language Centre

Also known as

Rabbit, Bunny

Viewing opportunities

  • Forest edges are good places to look for hares, especially in spring and autumn when their colouration may not match snow conditions.
  • Look for them under a deadfall or at the base of a tree.
  • Hares often feed in roadside ditches at dusk in the summer.
  • Hare tracks are highly visible in winter and the density of these can help you find good places to look for them, particularly along their pathways.


  • Very broad hind feet and large ears.
  • Winter: white fur with black-tipped ears.
  • Summer: Rusty or dark brown fur with white underparts.
  • Rear limbs much longer than front ones.

Fast facts

  • Length: 0.5 m
  • Weight: 1 to 2 kg
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Predators: All carnivorous mammals and raptors.
  • Habitat: Boreal Forest

Conservation status

What is conservation status?

  • Yukon: S5 (Secure)
  • Global: G5 (Secure)

Yukon population estimate

Not determined.


Snowshoe Hares are active primarily at dawn, dusk and during the night. They rest in shallow depressions called forms, which may be tucked beneath a snow-laden branch or deadfall. They are casual parents. The male does not care for the young at all and the female visits her young as little as once a day to feed them. In the Yukon, Snowshoe Hares have up to 4 litters between May and September, twice as many as in some southern regions.


Grasses, buds, bark


Snowshoe Hare distribution map.

Sights and sounds

Snowshoe Hare track.
Snowshoe Hare track: 11.3 x 9.4 cm.
Chewed bark.
Chewed bark.

Pellets: 0.8 cm.

Hares and people

  • Snowshoe Hares have always been an important food source for Yukoners in remote areas and are still our most popular small game species.