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Lepus peguensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA LAGOMORPHA LEPORIDAE

Scientific Name: Lepus peguensis
Species Authority: Blyth, 1855
Common Name(s):
English Burmese Hare, Siamese Hare
Synonym(s):
Lepus siamensis Bonhote, 1902
Taxonomic Notes: There are two recognized subspecies, Lepus peguensis peguensis and L. p. vassali (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). L. hainanus was formerly included in L. peguensis (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). Some treatments indicate the presence of L. peguensis in China. However, the comprehensive Mammals of China (Smith and Xie 2008) does not include L. peguensis. Note that occurrences in China are actually L. hainanus, formerly included in L. peguensis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Duckworth, J.W., Steinmetz, R. & Pattanavibool, A.
Reviewer(s): Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. (Lagomorph Red List Authority)
Justification:
Species is listed as Least Concern, being common and widespread. Furthermore, populations appear to be stable or even increasing due to conversion of primary forest to scrubbier habitat favorable to the species.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in central and southern Myanmar from the Chindwin River valley east through Thailand, Cambodia, southern Lao PDR, southern Viet Nam, and south into the upper Malay Peninsula (Myanmar, Thailand) (Hoffmann and Smith 2005). This distribution may include the northern and central regions of Lao PDR, as signs of its presence in the wild and fresh kills in markets have been identified, but only to the genus level (Duckworth et al. 1994; Duckworth 1996). Distribution is enigmatic in the north and east, with few confirmed records. Thai distribution would suggest that the species has spread with human-related forest loss in the northern highlands of Lao PDR, particularly one might surmise along the lowland valleys. The mapped range in Myanmar is largely speculative, further work is likely to show that the species is more restricted within this country. A collection expedition in Thailand (pre-1950's) recorded this species as occurring at 4,300 feet on Doi Ang Ka (modern name Doi Inthanon) (Allen and Coolidge 1940). Further work is needed to determine the upper limit of this species.
Countries:
Native:
Cambodia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand; Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is locally abundant.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occupies mostly in low altitude dipterocarp forest, and plain non-forest habitats with numbers especially high in the grass and shrub vegetation of seasonally exposed large river channels. It can be found in rain/flood-fed low intensity rice fields, but avoids irrigated multi-crop rice fields which cover much of Thailand (Duckworth pers. comm.). Species appears to be absent from Nakai plateau, Lao PDR, despite what appears to be suitable habitat (possibly due to high altitude) (Evans et al. 2000). Also absent from Thung Yai Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand, again despite suitable habitat at a relatively high altitude (Steinmetz pers. comm.). For these reasons and the fact that there have been numerous field surveys for the species above 700 m without detecting the species (in Thailand and Lao PDR) the 1,200 m upper elevation limit may be too high, though a comprehensive examination of specimens is lacking (Duckworth, Steinmitz, Pattanavibool pers. comm.). There are insufficient data regarding the home range and population density of Lepus peguensis (Flux and Angermann 1990). Total length of this species ranges from 36.0-50.0 cm (Corbet and Hill 1992). L. peguensis may have several litters per year with litter size ranging from one to seven (three to four average) (Lekagul and McNeely 1977). Gestation lasts approximately 35-40 days (Lekagul and McNeely 1977). It is estimated that the longevity of this species is six years (Lekagul and McNeely 1977). This species is crepuscular and nocturnal (Duckworth pers. comm.) L. peguensis actively feeds at night on grass, bark and twigs (Lekagul and McNeely 1977).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Extension of irrigated rice fields destroys habitat in localized areas (Duckworth pers. comm.). The species is heavily hunted, but this does not seem to constitute a major threat (Duckworth, Steinmitz, Pattanavibool pers. comm.). Habitat in Lao PDR and Viet Nam is regularly burnt during the dry season (February-May), posing a threat to young that may be present (Duckworth pers. comm.)

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Lepus peguensis is found within protected areas throughout its range. Research is needed in the following areas: taxonomy, distribution, and behavior (Flux and Angermann 1990). The evident lack of hares within the mid-altitude ranges of central Indochina, despite suitable habitat, requires further investigation to determine potential taxonomic distinction between low and high altitude hare populations (Duckworth pers. comm.).

Citation: Duckworth, J.W., Steinmetz, R. & Pattanavibool, A. 2008. Lepus peguensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 September 2014.
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