Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Pedetidae

Scientific Name: Pedetes capensis
Species Authority: (Forster, 1778)
Common Name(s):
English Spring Hare, Springhare, Springhaas

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Butynski, T.M.M. & De Jong, Y.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, has a tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in southern Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, western Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, south of the Zambezi River, and in South Africa in the Limpopo Province, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, although they are absent from the eastern parts, Free State, extreme north-western KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. It has not been recorded from Lesotho.
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is generally common, though estimates of abundance are lacking.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Throughout their range they occur only where there is suitable substrate, as they are unable to burrow in hard substrates and prefer lighter sandy soils. If they do occur in these areas, it is usually where there are intrusions of sandy alluvium, such as along rivers, or in patches of sandy soil overlaying hard ground. They are commonly seen on open sandy ground or sandy scrub, overgrazed grassland, on floodplain grassland or pans, and in cultivated areas.
The species is nocturnal, and forage in groups of two to six individuals.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species as a whole. Springhare have great value as a source of protein, and Butynski (1975) estimated that, in Botswana, 2.5 million springhare were taken annually for food by the indigenous peoples. The San secure them by hooking them out of their burrows using a pole with a barb on the tip, as do the Ndebele in Zimbabwe using a burred seedpod lashed to the end of a pole which is screwed into the fur so tightly that the springhaas can be withdrawn. The San also use the skins to make water and food containers, mats or karosses, and the best thread is made from the tail sinews. In agricultural areas, springhare can become a problem; Butynski (1973) estimated that 10-15% of maize, sorghum, beans and groundnuts grown in Botswana were destroyed by springhare.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in several protected areas throughout the range, many with good management. Further research is needed into harvest levels for this species.

Citation: Butynski, T.M.M. & De Jong, Y. 2008. Pedetes capensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T16467A5916557. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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