Pedetes capensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Pedetidae

Scientific Name: Pedetes capensis (Forster, 1778)
Common Name(s):
English Spring Hare, Springhaas, Springhare
Yerbua capensis Forster, 1778
Taxonomic Notes: The East African form of the springhare has long been regarded as a subspecies of P. capensis (Dieterlen 1993). However, there are clear morphological, behavioural, placental and phylogeographic and cytogenetic differences ((Matthee and Robinson 1997 and references therein) which strongly argue for recognition of the two species. Differences include smaller nasals, smaller bullae, proportionately narrower incisors, and a more vaulted brain case in P. surdaster (Thomas, 1902); a diploid number of 2n=40 in P. surdaster and 2n=38 in P. capensis, the presence of endotheliochorial placenta and the absence of yolk sac inversion in P. surdatur, and the use of communal burrow systems in P. surdaster.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-09-07
Assessor(s): Child, M.F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Butynski, T.M. & de Jong, Y.A.
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:

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; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
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.
Generation Length (years):5-6

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Hunted for food and clothing.

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.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Child, M.F. 2016. Pedetes capensis (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16467A115133584. . Downloaded on 20 August 2018.
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