In summer coat similar to brown hare but greyer. Body slightly smaller than brown hare with shorter ears, which do not have black tips, and an all-white tail. Winter coat mostly white or in transitional period. Larger than rabbits and longer legs. Tracks are key field sign to look for to determine the presence of the mountain hare. Head and body length 50cm. Adult weight 2.9kg (females) and 2.6kg (males).
Found in the highlands of Scotland (more concentrated in the North East), some in Derbyshire and throughout Ireland (also known as Irish hare). (Maps are based on expert advice, as of 2007. Some species ranges may have changed in the time since. We are currently in the process of updating the maps.)
Varies according to habitat and season. In Scotland heather is main food, also eats grasses and sometimes rush and sedge species. Will also eat bark and twigs in winter.
3-4 years on average.
Brown hare (Lepus europaeus)
Long ears, twice the length of the head, mountain hare’s ears are slightly shorter. Black on top of tail unlike all white tail of the mountain hare. Brown hare has amber eyes whilst mountain hare has brown eyes. Brown hare has brown fur with orange/brown sides all year round, whereas mountain hare has pale grey fur in summer which turns white in winter.
Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Ears of rabbit are about the same length as head, shorter than the mountain hare, without the black tips that mountain hare has.Rabbit has grey/brown fur all year round whilst mountain hare has pale grey fur in summer or white fur in winter (still maintaining black ear tips).