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Lepus nigricollis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Lepus nigricollis
Species Authority: F. Cuvier, 1823
Common Name(s):
English Indian Hare, Black-napped Hare
Taxonomic Notes: There are many subspecies in India occupying different regions and habitat types. There are seven recognized subspecies: Lepus nigricollis aryabertensis, L. n. dayanus, L. n. nigricollis, L. n. ruficaudatus, L. n. sadiya, L. n. simcoxi, and L. n. singhala (Hoffmann and Smith 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Maheswaran, G. & Jordan, M.
Reviewer(s): Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
This is a widespread species that is characterized as very common.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Indian hare is distributed throughout India, except the high reaches of the Himalayas and mangrove areas within the Sundarbans in the state of West Bengal. The geographic distribution extends into eastern Pakistan, southern Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh excluding the Sundarbans (Flux and Angermann 1990). It is thought to occur in Bhutan as well, but exact locations are not known (Chakraborty et al. 2005). This species can be found at elevations ranging from 50-4,500 m (Chakraborty et al. 2005).

This species has been introduced to many islands of the Indian Ocean; Mauritius, Gunnera Quoin, Anskya, Rèunion, and Cousin (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). Lepus nigricollis is considered native to Java by McNeely (1981), but its origin is considered uncertain by Hoffmann and Smith (2005).
Countries:
Native:
Bangladesh; India; Indonesia (Jawa - Present - Origin Uncertain); Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka
Introduced:
Mauritius; Réunion; Seychelles
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Lepus nigricollis is very common wherever they occur. However, the population in India is subjected to severe fragmentation due to expanding agricultural fields and pressure on forest in terms of fuel wood collection and sometimes illegal hunting.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Lepus nigricollis can be seen in wide variety of habitats such as short grasslands, barren agricultural fields, crop fields, and forest roads. The species can be seen in forests of many types other than the mangroves and tall grassland habitats. However, one can see the species adjacent to forest areas in agricultural fields. It breeds throughout the year, but the peak breeding season is during the monsoon season (Flux and Angermann 1990). Litter size is one to four, but can be higher (Gurung and Singh 1996). Forbs and grasses constitute the bulk of their diet (Flux and Angermann 1990). L. nigricollis is characterized as a shy species (Gurung and Singh 1996). It exhibits activity during crepuscular and nocturnal hours (Chakraborty et al. 2005). Total length is 33.0-53.0 cm (Corbet and Hill 1992).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: 40% of the total population is utilized. This species is hunted for meat, but is also removed to prevent crop damage (Flux and Angermann 1990).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major threats for Lepus nigricollis include habitat destruction and conversion of prime forest areas for agricultural purposes, as well as intensive hunting by locals for meat. Individual hares, especially the young ones living in the forest areas, are subjected to predation by carnivorous mammals and birds. L. nigricollis is also threatened by domestic predators, competition from livestock, and human set forest fires (Chakraborty et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed under the Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. No specific conservation action has been framed to protect the species in the wild in India. However, a number of individuals are present within sanctuaries and national parks and are somewhat protected from human intervention. Further taxonomic research is needed for this species, as well as increased public awareness (Chakraborty et al. 2005).

Citation: Maheswaran, G. & Jordan, M. 2008. Lepus nigricollis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 August 2014.
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